IT Improvements For Remote Workers

3 Ways Today's Technology Has Made It Easier & More Secure For The Remote Worker.

Being able to work away from the office has grown in popularity, fueled by the explosion of broadband internet.

The reliability and speed of residential internet has opened the door for people previously unable to work from home. Not to mention, it's difficult to find a hotel or coffee shop that doesn’t offer high speed internet.

Better internet access combined with advances in security offerings means that employees can work out of the office while having access to the business network, including not only file shares and other resources, but also the protection the firewall and secondary security measures provide.

VPN - still the safest way to connect to the office, now even easier

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is one way remote workers establish a connection to the office. AnyConnect VPN Client from Cisco is an example of the convenience now available for remote workers.

A remote user runs an app with preconfigured connection settings and logs in using their normal network login information. Once connected, it is like sitting in the office, albeit a little slower depending on the Internet connection.

Umbrella (from Cisco) - anywhere, any device threat protection

Umbrella from Cisco, formerly known as OpenDNS, is an example of a service that provides cloud-delivered web security for every device on or off the network. A simple change is made to the business firewall to bring the network under this ‘umbrella’ of protection. An agent installed on each computer provides this same protection while offsite. With more and more malware attackers using website advertising (malvertising) as their tool of choice, this is a critical piece of protection.

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication provides additional security as far as who is logging in remotely. It does this by requiring something in addition to a username and password. Typically, two of the following three common options are used: a known component (e.g. username/password), a provided component (e.g. a time-sensitive code), and an inherent component (e.g. a fingerprint). Many websites already encourage multifactor authentication, they usually only provide for combining your username and password with a time-sensitive code. A code sent to you via text in some cases.

Another example is withdrawing money from an ATM; it requires your bank card (a provided component) and your PIN (a known component) in order to let you withdraw money. Multifactor is important for remote users because it prevents criminals from being able to log in remotely by somehow obtaining only their password – it requires that additional factor which the criminal will not have.