In the wake of Covid-19 forcing people to work from home, CT is urging customers to ensure remote access is secure and to be aware of our timescales to support your business continuity plans

A challenge that employers now face is maintaining security whilst their teams are working remotely. People accessing work files from home or on a mobile device can present risks which threaten your business. At a time when potentially all staff will be working from home for a period of time, it is more important than ever that your network is not inadvertently opened up to any security risks.

If you have a cloud or remote desktop solution in place, we are encouraging all customers to ensure they retain the basic IT principles, in particular ‘access control’ and ‘data back-up’.

We are seeing a lot of social media activity stating that for remote access you can simply enable VPN.  If you do this without the correct planning, there is a critical risk of leaving your network open to external attack and failing to provide the necessary functionality your end which users need to work effectively.

It is important to consider:

  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • VPN Encryption
  • Is your connectivity capable of handling all or a large proportion of your staff connecting remotely?
  • Are your staff going to be using a personal device to access your network via the VPN?  If that device isn’t correctly protected and it is given access into your network, you could be creating further security issues
  • VPN access mean that end users can potentially drag and drop files onto the device, which could be a personal device, thus comprising data control
  • We are also seeing the use of shelf solution to access PCs remotely. If you have chosen this route, be aware that your network may also be opened to security risks. If it is simple for your end users to gain access it may be simple for unwanted third parties to also access your network and we are expecting an increase in cyber-crime.

Cloud solutions such as Microsoft 365 are built to reduce the chance of sensitive data leaks occurring, but we highly recommend the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA), Microsoft’s single-sign on (SSO). We recommend that you have automatic encryption of data to ensure access is controlled.

You must also ensure that your cloud solution, such as Office 365, is backed-up. Most cloud providers work on a shared responsibility model, meaning they take responsibility for the infrastructure. However, the responsibility for the data remains with YOU.  Most will have a data retention policy but will not backup your data. We can provide you with a fully managed service immediately, with comprehensive back-up for your entire Office 365 suite.

In conclusion, there are a number of different options available for remote working, but they need to be right for your business and it is vital that your fundamental IT principles are retained. Key considerations are:

  • Security
  • The devices being used
  • Connectivity capabilities
  • The functionality your end users require
  • Data Backup

If you need help or guidance on the most suitable option for you, please contact CT on 01246 266130 and we will have a team available to assist.

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