As a worldwide pandemic draws closer to its end, businesses everywhere are asking themselves: How will we work going forward? Three in five businesses that were in the office pre-COVID-19 are now at least partially remote, with a recent survey indicating that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely some of the time post-pandemic. It is quickly becoming clear that, moving forward, the traditional workplace may be anything but.
Working both remotely and in the office – a hybrid model – is increasingly being considered as an answer to what the future of work will look like. The distributed workforce this will create will lead to a bevy of challenges for SMBs, managed service providers (MSPs) and channel partners – not the least of which is information security. According to software developer Devolutions, striking a balance between cybersecurity and productivity will be critical for these businesses looking to deploy a hybrid work model post-pandemic.
Remote employees need access to all the same digital resources as on-premises employees, which requires secure connections to and from corporate networks and cloud services and applications. Password security is also a concern, both ‘inside the walls’ and out. Organizations must keep critical assets secure, control and monitor sensitive information and privileged access, and vault and manage business-user passwords – all while ensuring that employees are productive and efficient. From an infrastructure standpoint, IT pros need the ability to easily and securely access work-from-home employees’ devices – ideally from a single dashboard.
Smaller companies rarely have the IT talent, tools or budgets to prevent many forms of cyberattacks – however, with the right tools in place, IT professionals can successfully navigate these challenges without breaking the bank. This is where Devolutions comes in.
“While the future is hard to predict, it’s safe to say that remote working is here to stay and will only become more prevalent as time goes on,” said Maxime Trottier, vice president of sales and marketing for Devolutions. “Devolutions’ suite of IT solutions helps users cost-effectively, simply and effectively achieve their remote desktop management, password management, privileged access management, and cybersecurity goals.”
To help organizations more securely govern a hybrid workforce, Devolutions recommends the following:
Enhance Cloud Security
The surge in remote workers has dramatically accelerated the popularity of cloud-based apps and platforms. Organizations need to strengthen cloud security by deploying multi-function authentication (MFA), privileged access management, and end-user monitoring and logging. They should also securely offboard departing users.
Fortify the Weakest Link: End Users
Now that the attack surface is much larger due to remote working, organizations need to establish, roll-out and enforce threat detection programs and policies beyond their corporate environment and into home offices. In addition, organizations should provide end users with ongoing cybersecurity training.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPNs should be made mandatory instead of optional. However, VPNs are not optimized for security out-of-the-box. Key ways to strengthen the level of VPN security include: implement MFA, use the OpenVPN protocol, test for leaks (DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC), use a kill switch, use a network lock, limit VPN access to specific and authorized end-users, and consider using an intranet or extranet (with MFA) instead of a VPN for access to highly sensitive files.
Implement Single Sign-On (SSO)
Each time a remote worker (or any other end user) logs into an application, a door is opened for hackers to potentially invade endpoints and networks. SSO enables end users to log in once with a single set of credentials, and therefore access all of the apps, data and websites for which they have permission.
Implement a Cloud-Based Password Manager
A growing number of organizations have remote workers who are working in different locations, and at different times. Also, some companies such as MSPs have workers who spend the majority of their time on-site at various customer locations. Obliging these workers to use on-premises remote credential management and password management tools is tedious and inefficient. It can also create risk and customer service problems, as urgent issues cannot be rapidly addressed. A cloud-based password manager helps end users store and manage passwords in a single and trusted cloud-based solution, so they can be efficient and secure – regardless of where or when they are working.
New from Devolutions is a set of product enhancements designed to support SMB hybrid work environments. One of the most significant enhancements is that Devolutions’ Remote Desktop Manager can now be connected with its Password Hub to create a cloud-based repository for IT professionals. A secure, easy-to-use cloud-based password management solution for team environments, Password Hub Business enables businesses to vault, manage and share business-user passwords and other sensitive data through a web interface. When combined with Remote Desktop Manager, users can securely access their data from anywhere using an internet connection – and IT pros get the centralized, cloud-based view they need.
For more information about Devolutions and how their solutions are helping SMBs adjust to a shifting business landscape, please visit devolutions.net.
Established in 2010, Devolutions is a Canadian-based company located near Montreal, Quebec. With more than 500,000 users in over 140 countries, Devolutions is on a mission to develop innovative software that helps users cost-effectively, simply and effectively achieve their remote desktop management, password management, privileged access management, and cybersecurity goals. The company is also committed to providing exceptional technical support, ensuring an excellent user experience that exceeds expectations, and delivering high performance with superior quality. For more information about Devolutions and its solutions, visit devolutions.net, follow the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, like on Facebook or subscribe on YouTube.
Lages & Associates