How to Keep Businesses Safe from Security Breaches

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Endpoint Management, Rethink Remote Access
Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Sylvia Rosen

When small businesses grow and large businesses spread across the country, remote and traveling professionals need accessibility. That’s why both small and large businesses turn to VPN technology; it gives them the flexibility they need to work across a variety of locations.

However, with accessibility comes risk.

As a business owner, you need to make sure that your remote employees have the accessibility they need to be productive, in addition to the security that you need to have a peace of mind.

Here are three ways that you can keep your business safe from security breaches while using VPN technology:

Chose your VPN technology wisely

Rainer Enders, the CTO Americas for NCP engineering, explains that when it comes to choosing VPN technology, business owners need to keep two things in mind: convenience and company policy.

“What you want to make sure [for the employee] is that it’s simple, it won’t interfere with their work, and it’s at the least intrusive level,” Enders explains.

It’s difficult to predict where your teleworkers will be going and what devices they will be using. As a result, it’s ideal that you would select a VPN that has the “intelligence” to figure out different network types, and from different types of devices, such as cell phones.

In addition, the most important aspect to keep in mind is that your technology is in accordance with your business’ security policy.

“From the employer side, they need to ensure that what is presented is in compliance with security rules and also business rules,” Enders said.

Enders explains that this might mean that businesses will need to adapt their security profile to a reasonable solution. For example, teleworkers will need a solution that allows them to securely connect to the network in areas that are considered to be “hot spots,” such as hotels, cafes, and airports.

Firewalls and security features are your friend

Business owners might cringe at the thought of their employees working in “hot spots,” but the reality is it will happen. As a result, Enders encourages business owners to use a VPN with an integrated firewall.

“The role that the firewall plays is to basically put firm access boundaries around the user’s device and allow or disallow user connectivity,” he explains. “With this, you can enforce that they can only connect to a company network – and not the Internet.”

Enders adds that security features such as “authentication” are great moves toward preventing security breaches because it ensures that the person, who is trying to connect to your company network, is in fact your employee. For example, if a device gets lost or stolen, a strong authentication will makes sure that no one can steal that person’s identity.

Keep track of each employee who has VPN access

Hackers are everywhere, and in today’s technology-driven society, it’s very easy to break into company networks – if you aren’t careful. One of the easiest ways to prevent security breaches is by paying attention to your employees and how they are accessing your company outside of the office.

For example, mobile devices increase the chances of a security breach being reached because of how small they are. With mobile devices, you’re limited from a processing perspective and UI perspective, and also limited in what type of security software you can install.

One resource that Enders suggests businesses turn towards is the cloud. Cloud services providers can adopt an approach where they can offer outsource VPN services that will allow easy manageability in order to connect to VPN services.

Being able to connect to business networks outside the office is a necessity for teleworkers and traveling professionals. As a result, it’s up to business owners to be able to select a VPN solution that is convenient, flexible, and follows security policies.

Sylvia Rosen writes articles on business products, including: Small Business Phone Systems, Document Management Systems, and Business and Home Security Systems.

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