As COVID-19 takes center stage in the US, many businesses are trying to figure out how their employees can become a part of the remote workforce. Many are turning to common solutions like LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, and Dropbox to bridge the gap. These are great tools, but there are risks involved.

Before we get started, we want to highlight a major pitfall to avoid. Do NOT allow employees to access your network through an open remote desktop. We see this all the time, and it is incredibly dangerous because it is not secure and leaves your computer exposed for the world to see. 

Here are a few tips that will help you equip your team transition to a remote workforce without compromising your business.

Determine What Devices Will Be Used

One of the ways that employees work remotely is on their own devices. This is cost-effective in the short run, but it can leave your business open to cybersecurity threats.  If your employee’s computer has malware, they could accidentally expose passwords and other critical information that could leave your data vulnerable. This is the case, even if you are using cloud-based solutions.

There are 2 ways to avoid this threat. First, you can require employees to use company-owned devices when accessing your system remotely. Second, you can require employees to submit their devices for review prior to allowing them to gain remote access. You can install antivirus software and make sure that the machine has not been compromised.

Company-owned devices are the most secure option, and they help you maintain the control necessary to ensure security protocols are followed. They also have another benefit. Many employees who are working from home in this situation are using a family computer. This can make it difficult to maintain productivity if their spouse and children also need to use the computer from time to time.  We have also seen that many games that kids install on computers come packaged with malware. An innocent-looking game could start logging keystrokes and put your company at risk.

Some companies are allowing employees to take desktop computers home. This isn’t as secure as keeping employees behind the corporate firewall, but it is one of the best solutions available.

Options for Granting Access

We recommend granting access using a VPN solution through a good firewall. This solution leverages the latest encryption and security technologies to protect your data from end to end.

GoToMyPC and LogMeIn are also good options for remote access as long as you certify that the device accessing your network has active antivirus and hasn’t been compromised.

Tools like Google Drive, Sharefile, and Dropbox can also play a role for accessing specific documents and files, but they might not fully meet your needs.   

Get a “Work From Home” Security Review

Would you like us to take a look at your work from home set up to make sure that your company data is safe and secure? We are happy to help. We can also help develop a plan for a remote workforce that you can deploy quickly to keep your company from missing a beat in the coming weeks.

Call us at (844) 448-7767 or email ContactUs@SawyerSolutionsLLC.com to develop a plan for your business.

  

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by:
March 26, 2020

Kind of rudimentary advice. The security offering is reliant on the customer location and a static firewall which means it will never truly be a remote workforce; just a temporary “please don’t come apart at the seams” force. If the security offering is more dynamic you could send everyone home with whatever computer is available and get the job done.

April 6, 2020

Mike,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. This was not meant to be an exhaustive list of ways to work remotely, but a quick primer on the most common methods we see being used. A good remote work strategy is dependent on a lot of variables and really needs to be discussed in depth before you need to deploy it. In light of the emergency we are finding people just doing what they can to get working remotely and aren’t thinking about the consequences or security concerns. We are just hoping to provide a little education that is quick to read and helps people think things through a little better.

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