Nowadays, it’s more important than ever for companies to have emergency plans in place that allow them to suspend in-person business and normal on-site operations without having to shut down totally. If a massive power outage, natural disaster, or other issue forces a company to close its office doors, they must be able to establish a remote workforce as quickly and securely while still allowing for access to their necessary networked resources.
Before a company is able to securely transition on-site traditional workers to a remote team, they must take care of the following five technical steps to both protect their workers and enable them to do their jobs:
1. Require passwords/codes on all company-provided devices. – Any employee that uses an employer-provided device should protect it with a password. Overlooking this simple step could create a giant vulnerability for an organization if a device is lost or stolen. Every piece of information stored on said device could be easily accessed. Two-factor or multi-factor authentication should also be a company-wide policy for added security as it helps prevent cybercriminals from being able to access networked resources from a single stolen device.
2. Provide Endpoint and VPN Security. – All workers must have access to the essential applications that allow them to communicate with the rest of the team and get their own job done. This includes the internet, email, teleconferencing software, and their own job-specific software/hardware. This typically means providing a laptop or device preloaded with such products but it should also include a pre-configured VPN connection to the corporate system.
3. Ensure constant, secure connectivity for those who need it. – Some remote employees may need advanced access to company networked resources in order to do their jobs, which may include confidential information or multiple IT environments. Pre-configured wireless access points can create a secure tunnel through which a user can connect to the corporate network through their remote location. An access point can be combined with a firewall to enable a full spectrum of advanced security features.
4. Offer secure telephony. – Teleworkers who require advanced communication access may require voice over IP (VoIP) services for secure communication to be able to receive and make outbound calls, access their voice mail, and other functions.
5. Prepare for advanced perimeter security. – The sudden number of remote workers who need access to a company’s network resources may wreak havoc on an unprepared system and team. Before the need arises, advanced perimeter security measures should be put into place that allows for scalability at a moment’s notice.
Organizations constantly face a staggering number of potential reasons for needing to turn their workforce into a remote one at a moment’s notice. By preparing for this need before it actually happens with the right networking and security products and services, companies can ensure that they will be operational and secure no matter what.