It is estimated that over four million people work from home in the UK, while in the USA this figure is over 8 million and the figures are rising. There are numerous benefits to companies allowing employees to work from home, including the fact that 30% of office workers are more productive when they work in the comfort of their own home. The question is how can you enable employees to access work from their home securely using remote access?
What exactly is remote access?
Remote access is a term used when talking about allowing employees accessing files, emails, databases and other information from home. The name says it all, providing access remotely. Companies provide remote access:
- Allowing employees to log onto company customer databases from their home;
- Allows the creation of project workspaces for sharing and viewing of files outside the office environment;
- Allowing sending and retrieving of company emails outside of the office.
In short, by providing remote access employers make it easier for employees to work in an efficient manner at home.
Considerations for working remotely
There is a wide range of tools available that allow employees to gain access to the files they need to work remotely. These include VoIP, messenger software and shared storage solutions, such as Dropbox.
However, sharing files over the internet does come with risks. Hackers could infiltrate data and personal information, emails, sensitive files and databases of customers.
It is important to ensure that employees are aware of the risks of sharing and accessing data online. Anyone working from home on any device should have in place:
- A firewall;
- Antivirus software installed;
- Malware software installed;
- Anti-spam for scanning email attachments.
For added security, companies use a VPN and provide employees with access to it.
Safety and security behind a VPN
Many companies choose in-house VPN solutions, which are managed internally, as opposed to choosing one of the many VPN providers on the market. These are solutions tailored specifically for the company.
For those who have never heard about what a VPN is, here’s a good infographic :
Source of the infographic : https://the-bestvpn.com/what-is-a-vpn/
The employer will provide the employee with the software needed to install the VPN onto the device or devices they use when working from home.
Along with this, they will provide a user name and password. The credentials are used to sign in to the VPN software before accessing the internet.
Once signed in to the VPN employees are behind a Virtual Private Network. A virtual tunnel is put between the device of the employee and the World Wide Web. Any data that leaves the device is encrypted along with any incoming data. As data is encrypted, it is unreadable even if anyone should infiltrate it in-between leaving and arriving at its destination. More security is added with a VPN as the IP address of the device connecting to the internet is masked and one is taken from the server to which the device connected.
A Virtual Private Network allows employees to connect safely to the network of the company and use files, databases and emails anonymously and securely.