We all know the benefits of remote connectivity and how it increases productivity by allowing your staff to work from anywhere, anytime. Did you know that – despite what you may read or hear – there is no such thing as a cookie cutter remote access solution? Your firm is unique and your IT infrastructure should reflect that.
However, regardless of your system and remote access technology, there are three main issues that can impact your staff’s ability to work securely away from the office – logging in, file sharing and VPNs.
Good Connectivity Begins With a Good Internet Connection
Sometimes the reason your employees can’t connect is, quite smply, a weak Internet connection. At a minimum, your employees need 25 Mbps cable modem connection. Really, anything less than 100 Mbps can prevent your staff from getting any work done by keeping them from easily accessing their needed data and applications.
A good rule of thumb is to check your Internet agreement often. It’s possible that you are still paying a premium for less bandwidth. A simple upgrade could simultaneously lower your bill and give your staff more power.
Retire the VPN
Just because your firm uses a VPN doesn’t it mean it was set up correctly to ensure the highest level of security. A common VPN setup problem can allow a hacker or malware to bypass all your critical defenses. Even if it was set up correctly, you can’t guarantee that your employee’s home computer won’t become unknowingly compromised.
Also, if an employee copies a file to their home PC and that computer contracts a virus, confidential data can be uploaded into the world. This can cause a data breach of epic proportions leading to fines and worse. If you are still using a VPN, it is time to retire that outdated tool and move to a more secure system – including remote desktop or secure cloud options.
Review Your File Sharing System
Not all file sharing clouds are created equally. Free tools like Dropbox may seem benign, but they offer zero compliance when it comes to privacy laws. A good rule of thumb is to look for cloud-based file sharing systems that will sign a Business Associate Agreement. This is a requirement for HIPAA, but good practice for all firms. Without that, your important documents can easily be hacked, leaving your firm with huge penalties that will impact your bottom line and reputation.
So when it comes to evaluating your company’s remote access features, it helps to understand the key concepts above to ensure that your employees can get their work done and the firm’s documents are kept safe. It is up to your firm’s IT team, whether it’s in house or an outside partner, to develop corporate standards that consider compliance and general firm security while ensuring reliable connectivity. Dave Kinsey