How To Be Secure When Working Remotely

Today, more and more companies have opened their doors and stepped outside the four corners of their office. Times have indeed changed and remote work is now slowly taking over.  For the employees who work from home they don’t need to spend for transportation and stress that comes with commuting. As for the employers having some of the staff work remotely means they no longer need to pay serious amounts of money for a huge office space as well as for the electricity consumption.

Despite the numerous benefits of going remote, there are serious risks that still come with this trend. Risks that if left unaddressed early could mean serious losses for companies. These risks involve losses of valuable, confidential data and sensitive information that are not for public consumption. Here, security awareness training is key to equip your employees with the right knowledge, tools, and mindset that will keep them from falling prey to cyber attacks outside. Some of the tools that will help achieve those goals of protecting valuable data and information are discussed next:

Virtual Private Networks. Similar to what a firewall does, VPNs protect your laptop’s data online, with the front end retaining the same security, functionality, and appearance despite being a Wide Area Network. VPNs combine encryption protocols and dedicated connections to create virtual P2P connections, which in turn keep hackers from accessing transmitted data that they may have managed to obtain. A number of VPN security protocols have been developed through the years each offering different features:

  • Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). PPTP is a VPN protocol that is known to be flexible in terms of its ability to be installed in different kinds of operating systems. It is, however, incapable of performing an encryption; rather, what it does is encapsulate the data packet.
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS). This type of VPN is commonly used by service providers and online retailers. It features a “handshake method” which generates the cryptographic parameters that serve as a means for the two systems to create a secure connection, as well as authenticating the session and exchanging encryption keys.
  • Secure Shell (SSH). This type of VPN creates the VPN tunnel as well as the encryption that provides the protection to the former. This feature enables remote workers to safely transfer information by routing traffic from remote file servers, using of course, an encrypted channel.
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPsec. Similar to the PPTP, the L2TP is likewise incapable of encryption. Nevertheless, it compensates by creating the tunnel while the IPsec takes care of the encryption (as well as data integrity checks).
  • IP Security (IPsec). The partner of the L2TP, the IPsec can no less stand on its own as it operates in two modes: first, the tunneling mode, wherein it encrypts the data packet in its entirety, and second, the transport mode, wherein it only encrypts the data packet message.

Firewalls. A firewall software functions by filtering the information coming through the Internet connection and into your company’s computer system or private network, in the case of homes. Basically, it serves as a “checkpoint” wherein they bar packets of information that are flagged by filters.

Connectivity Guidelines. Business owners should come up with security standards and policies that all remote workers should follow to the dot, and without any compromise. These guidelines may include rules that prohibit remote workers from accessing unsecured connections, unrecognised Bluetooth connections, and the like.

Going Cloud. Another excellent option that is becoming more popular among companies that are looking to improve their remote security are web-based cloud solutions. Cloud-based solutions and apps tend to be compliant with industry regulations and generally data within the cloud is encrypted. Business owners and managers can also regulate the access abilities of their employees.