Like any other business in the digital age, even an IT solutions organization has to communicate cyber security policies and practices to its team. It’s today’s version of “physician, heal thyself.” While it’s one thing to have systems in place to manage IT network security within your office, what are your expectations for your remote workforce, contractors, and traveling staff?
Yes, VPNs Still Exist
For companies that aren’t primarily cloud-based, getting system access from anywhere other than the office often requires using your company’s VPN, or virtual private network. When a worker is connected to a VPN, the data from his or her computer back to the corporate network is encrypted. If they are in a coffee shop or hotel, for example, no one else also on that network can see what they are doing.
“Giving someone VPN access on their personal computer, a workstation that isn’t managed by the company, means your network is only as secure as that person’s judgement. Think about controlling access to your firm’s VPN the same way you control who has keys to your car.”
Adam Fisk, Director of IT Systems
In the case of folks not using a company laptop, personal VPN solutions do also allow devices to be more secure when users are on an unsecured network. But, in return for 3rd party security, you end up sharing your content and Internet history with another company.
If you’re not sure whether you have a corporate VPN that your staff can use, contact your IT team to find out if you have one and how to connect to it. For clients, TSP incorporates firewall hardware in the planning process, making VPN easy to implement after the fact if needed.
Set Ground Rules
Companies using VPN in the broad sense, i.e. giving employees remote access to a protected network, will want to have an “acceptable use” policy. Such a policy might specify that access is only through corporate hardware or a managed workstation. Policies should also require that workstations also have some sort of antivirus or antimalware software, and that each user has (and is using) their own unique credentials.
For more on our own thoughts on using VPNs*, and getting online while out in the world, listen to our Grepcast or contact us for a tech audit and insights on what would work best for your business..
*With additional commentary on gamification, miniature cupcakes, and more!