It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic had major impacts on the way we work and how businesses operate. A year ago, many employers were faced with the challenge of keeping their employees safe and healthy, all while still trying to keep their businesses afloat. For many employers, the solution was sending their team home and encouraging them to work remotely. However, this situation also presents cybersecurity challenges, especially if employees are working with protected information such as health information or financials. Using unsecured home internet connections or accessing work files from personal computers pose the biggest security risk, placing company information in danger of hackers and other cyberattacks.
A year later, many businesses are beginning to open back up again, but not everyone will be heading back to the office. If your team is still working remotely for the foreseeable future, you may want to consider using a VPN to protect your team and your business.
What is a VPN?
One possible solution is the use of a virtual private network or VPN. This software basically creates a secure pathway between the server located in your office and employees’ computer systems. Through this secure pathway, information travels in an encrypted format that is undecipherable to hackers—thus keeping it safe. VPNs are a good idea for companies where workers are now telecommuting for the perceivable future.
How to establish a VPN
Your IT team will need to install either a firewall or VPN security appliance to the network where you house all your company information and data—usually at your corporate headquarters. The VPN includes security settings and restrictions that allow access only to approved employee users. With a VPN, employees can use any network they choose (either public or private), and all information they access will be safe and secure.
Another key security measure
As the use of personal computers for company work poses a security threat, it’s also a good idea for your IT department to install your VPN on either employees’ personal computers OR company-issued computers. One benefit of company-issued computers is control over the firewall and anti-virus protection. It’s an expense but well worth it to help keep your valuable information safe and uncompromised.
If your employees access company information via mobile device, you may want to consider adding VPN software to those, as well. Another option is using cloud-based mobile applications that provide secure access for users.
As your company gets used to this new way of doing business, you may feel you could benefit from guidance and support- Odell Studner can help. We provide consultative services that help companies reduce risk, to accelerate growth and profitability. To learn more, contact us today.