Remote secure access

In January 2016 Forbes.com published an article titled 8 Tech Trends Changing How We Work In 2016. The first trend mentioned in the article is “The ability to work from anywhere, anytime and on any device.”

This scenario presents significant challenges for both self-employed people and companies. Significant challenges include

  1. The growing threat of cybercrime.
  2. Secure access to business data.
  3. Compliance with the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Self-employed people can work securely anywhere, anytime by implementing the following processes. Firstly, by installing VPN software. VPN software secures your business emails and data from the prying eyes of the cybercriminal.

This is most important when using public wi-fi in train & bus stations, airports, and your favourite coffee shop.

Secondly, consider installing password management software. Having duplicate or weak passwords is a threat to any business. A good password management system will identify weak passwords in your vault, old passwords that need to be updated, and any compromised passwords. It is good practice to use upper & lower case letters, numerals, and symbols in a password.

Thirdly, consider using 2 factor authentication. How does 2FA work? You have the choice of using authenticator apps or having 6 digit codes sent to your phone. The benefit of 2FA is that it provides an additional layer of security when logging into your social media accounts, and other online accounts such as Amazon, Office 365, and PayPal.

Fourthly consider protecting your business data from ransomware and phishing campaigns. One way of doing this is to download anti-malware software. It is preferable to use premium editions as updates will be patched to your laptop.

Finally having up to date anti-virus software on your laptop is a must. It is important to schedule scans to run, and to automatically update your anti-virus software against known threats.

For small companies employing two to five people, managed services for anti-virus software, and data back-up, in addition to using a virtual private network like Citrix Remote Client, will provide adequate security, when working outside the office. The benefit of managed services is that the IT solutions provider ensures all software is up to date, licences remain current, scanners are up to date, and scans run at a convenient time. This allows the business owner to focus on running their business.