It’s estimated that 25 percent of all the jobs in North America will be remote at the end of 2022, and this number will likely increase in the coming years. Not all companies can become fully remote, but those that can often see more satisfied employees and increased productivity. Better yet, hybrid approaches can be a good solution for companies that still need to maintain some on-site operations. Read on to learn more about building remote and hybrid work networks to meet your organization’s needs.
Establishing a Dependable, Secure Remote Network
Companies use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) solutions that allow employees access to company resources from remote locations. Originally released by Microsoft, RDP is available for most Windows operating systems and some Mac systems. Other remote networking protocols include VNC (virtual network computing) and ICA (Independent Computing Architecture), but RDP is the most common. Whichever software you use it needs to stay updated to protect it from cyberattacks, so always use the latest versions.
Your company’s anti-virus solutions should also be updated, since there are different kinds of ransomware and even coronavirus-specific malware designed to exploit remote desktop systems. All of the company’s remotely connected devices should have the latest anti-virus software, with no exceptions. Also take steps to restrict user access and enforce the least privilege. Cyber thieves can steal the most data from administrator accounts, so remove those from your RDP and also limit access for other user roles.
Virtual Private Network Security Tips
Employees can be required to use VPNs (virtual private networks) in front of RDP platforms, with the proper firewalls and other security measures. Firewalls should be tested often too, to detect security backdoors and application-based vulnerabilities. Review VPN performance metrics for insights into latency and throughput; consumer-grade VPN appliances and software should be upgraded as well, and be sure to validate all of your VPN-connected devices.
Two-factor authentication should be mandatory for all remote network access, as weak passwords are a chronic security vulnerability for a large majority of IT systems. Use it on all of your RDP, VPN, and cloud applications without fail. Remember, any weaknesses in any of your hardware, software, or networks can quickly turn into a major threat that can bring your company down temporarily or permanently, and remote network solutions need to have reliable protections.
Benefits of Working Remotely
It is estimated that over 97 percent of employees want to work remotely (at least sometimes), and these arrangements still allow workers to collaborate meaningfully with employers; hybrid environments also allow for that and important in-person meetings. Both provide people with more flexible schedules, improve work-life balance, and save time and money otherwise spent on commuting, work wardrobes, and eating restaurant food. A study of 16,000 workers sponsored by Stanford University revealed that working remotely increased productivity by as much as 13 percent when compared to company profits in previous years. This is thought to be a result of increased autonomy, fewer distractions, and happier employees.
Some companies prohibit remote work or simply can’t make it work. Those that require in-person interactions or use large equipment may never be able to make the change, which may work for some employees. Competition for remote jobs is challenging across many industries as workers preferring a flexible arrangement seek alternatives. Businesses that can go hybrid or fully remote can also save money on overhead, so this is another important consideration if you are thinking about making the transition.
Creating a secure remote network also involves employee training and monitoring, since human factors create serious security risks. Employee home Wi-Fi networks also need to be secure. Setting all of this up can be intimidating for companies that aren’t well-versed in remote security protocols.
At TAG Solutions, our highly trained staff is ready to help you create a reliable system that will enhance production and security to your specifications. Call us at 800-724-0023 or complete our online form to connect with one of our representatives today.