What is Secure Remote Access? Tips & Benefits
- November 11, 2022
A remote workplace requires you to grant remote access to your employees so that they can use your network to complete their duties. You can’t trust the internet even when it is convenient to allow incoming connections, so you need to secure remote access to your systems by adding stringent security policies that authenticate and authorize users before granting access.
Organizations can use remote access smart devices because they can be programmed to implement strict network policies and add layers of security to your network. Remote access has made it easier for network administrators to provide tech support to remote employees as they go about their daily routines.
Understanding How Secure Remote Access Works
In simple terms, remote access allows employees to use company data from a remote location. Since this requires organizations to allow incoming traffic from outside their protected network, IT teams must enforce strict security policies that inspect traffic before allowing access.
Once an organization allows incoming traffic, its network becomes a part of the internet and attracts malicious actors who want to acquire sensitive information. Secure remote access detects unauthorized devices and denies their access unless they prove their identity. However, attackers can also gain access to user credentials, so you must deploy additional security measures to keep your employees, data, and cloud security.
Tips to Secure Remote Access
Maintaining the security of your remote employees and cloud applications is no small feat; you must combine various tools with building a cybersecurity system that secures your remote access. Here are some tips that can assist you in keeping your organization safe from cyberattacks.
Developing a Cybersecurity Policy
A clear cybersecurity policy is essential for remote work to ensure every employee accesses data through a secure channel. Without a stringent policy, an attacker can use your employees as an entry point to inject malware into your organization’s network. A cybersecurity policy is a guideline for your employees, regardless of location. Here are some aspects you should consider while creating a policy:
- Company-owned devices
You can provide your remote employees with company-owned devices containing pre-configured firewall settings and antivirus software.
- Regular back-ups to hard drives
Instead of relying on cloud storage that can be hacked remotely, you should back up important data to physical hard drives and store them at a safe location.
- Service-level agreements
All third-party vendors associated with your business need to be provided with a service-level agreement that forces them to follow your organization’s security policies.
- Removal of shared accounts
If you remove or eliminate shared accounts among vendors, you can significantly decrease the risk of unauthorized access.
- Mobile security
Employees often use their mobile through an unsecured internet connection for work purposes. To prevent unwanted intrusions, you need to enforce the use of encrypted communication software. With the current advancement in communications and technology, businesses are using secured mobile fax apps and other messaging tools to communicate and exchange critical information.
- Network perimeter protection
Network traffic must be filtered to detect intruders, block their traffic, and stop their attempts to exploit the network. Filtering requires you to analyze and prevent inbound requests that originate from unauthorized IP addresses that can put your system at risk.
All inbound and outbound traffic needs to be encrypted to keep data, connections, and the cloud secure from attackers that may be scanning the network for data dumps. Encryption acts as an added protection layer; even if an employee misplaces their device and a person with malicious intentions recovers it, the encryption software will actively stop unauthorized access as the attacker doesn’t possess the key to decrypt the system.
You can implement either one of these best encryption practices:
- Advanced Encryption Standard
Businesses use AES to secure their data because it’s compatible with numerous applications. AES uses symmetric key encryption to decode the sender’s data, which allows the user to decrypt and encrypt data much faster than asymmetric encryption.
- End-to-end encryption
If your organization prefers communication through email or messaging applications, you need to ensure it supports end-to-end encryption that is incredibly strong and can’t be hacked because two end-points are secure.
Implementing a Password Management System
Most data breaches occur through the use of compromised credentials. Therefore, you need a password management system to improve your remote access security. An effective PMS contains:
- Random password generation
A PMS does much more than simply store passwords; you can generate and retrieve complex random passwords stored in an encrypted database. Therefore, a business can easily reduce the use of similar passwords that employees casually use for all their accounts.
- Automated password rotation
You can also use a PMS to rotate the passwords being used by your employees. By defining a time limit, the system will automatically reset the password, and the user will have to set a different password. This decreases the lifespan of the passwords and reduces the risk of sensitive data.
Benefits of Using Secure Remote Access
Businesses that implement a secure remote access strategy enjoy benefits like:
- Productive workforce
Remote working removes travel stress and improves productivity as employees are more engaged, focused, and motivated as they start their day. A remote workforce can also ensure 24-hour work throughout the day due to overlapping time zones.
- Diverse talent
A remote access strategy allows businesses to acquire employees best suited for the job regardless of location. Remote access also equips global employees with organizational IT resources to fulfill their job duties.
- Low overhead cost
Remote teams reduce overheads as physical office space is no longer required. Businesses no longer have to pay rent, buy equipment, or manage amenities necessary for in-house employees.
- Security assurance
Businesses can assure security for their employees and make data accessible. You can protect files, resources, and data with MFA and end-to-end encryption. Even when users log in from different locations like their homes or nearby coffee shop, your cybersecurity police will protect them.
Flexible working continues to bring advantages for businesses and employees. Secure remote access continues to become popular as it focuses on network and data security. It assists organizations in improving their security posture and defending themselves against cyber attackers who want to infiltrate networks to gain unauthorized access.