mediaindonesia.net– Controlling the ever-growing demands of employees who telecommute isn’t an easy task for every business however it’s particularly difficult for small companies. But, it doesn’t need become difficult. The most effective way to manage remote employees is to ensure that they have the equipment they require to be productive and make security the first priority.
However, doing that isn’t as simple as ensuring that your employees are equipped with nice laptops.
“Our survey data have indicated the 92 percent the respondents have adequate computer systems in addition to Internet connection,” said Rick Albiero who is the founder of the Telecommuting Advantage Group and an alternative work arrangement consulting firm. “Just having a laptop at home doesn’t suffice but it is. Businesses must also determine whether telecommuters are able to use their own laptops or computers, or if they must use computers exclusively for work-related purposes.”
Desktop computers and laptops could be infected or are already infected with viruses, claimed Rick Phillips, director of infrastructure solutions and managed cloud services at Weidenhammer Solutions.Another reason is that personal computers aren’t likely have enough resources and aren’t handled by the IT department of the company. department.
“It is more effective and secure to provide employees with the tools you control through your central IT admin capacities,” Phillips said. At a minimum Phillips advised companies to offer telecommuters a laptop or desktop computer with a broadband Internet connection to their office, as well as other services like file-sharing, email texts, Voice over IP (VoIP) videoconferencing, Web access and.
According to their job depending on their job, telecommuters might require additional support. For example, Phillips said that call agents working at home must be outfitted with a computer-telephony integration (CTI) and the right software , so they can use their computer to manage calls and connect into customer relationship management (CRM) applications within the office.
“Telecommuters who work heavily on meetings must be prepared for video and audio collaborative work,” Phillips said. This means ensuring that their laptops have an internet camera (or digital camera), a video card, videoconferencing software, as well as a an audio or microphone that is functional and has speakers.
Businesses that permit telecommuting must also offer security-related resources to ensure their information and devices are secured.
Phillips stated that security is the most. top issue small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have to overcome in providing a mobile and telecommunications workforce. Telecommuters typically work in public spaces like libraries, coffee shops hotels, airports, and airports, where Wi-Fi networks tend to be unsecure and therefore accessible to anyone who is within.
“It’s fairly simple for someone to access not just open files on another’s computer connected to an internet-connected system shared with others as well as access and download files from computers,” Albiero explained. “Programs like Cain and Abel, Ettercap and Wireshark let someone steal your personal information through open networks.” Although some sites have put in place security measures to safeguard their networks, like the requirement of a password but Albiero said it’s not a secure strategy.
To tackle security concerns faced by telecommuters who work in public areas Albiero recommended that laptops have Wi-Fi security systems that requires a separate password for everyone connected to a Wi-Fi network that attempts to connect to the telecommuter’s device. If you have access Ethernet connections, a different option is to use a router for travel that connects to an Ethernet connector to serve as the security of a physical firewall against other users connected to the network, Albiero said.
A more cost-effective option is to install the Virtual Private Network (VPN) an encryption measure that secures the your files on your computer as well as any data that is exchanged on the Internet The encryption process renders the data encrypted inaccessible for anyone else who has unauthorized access. “A secure VPN can offer this protection when data is in transit to your computer and back,” Albiero said.
Typically, users open the VPN client that is installed on their devices, and then enter their credentials to authorize. By connecting to the public network, they connect to an external data center that allows a secure connection like they are directly connected to the local network, which is secure and private.
“Instituting the VPN solution will guarantee security for only telecommuters,” Phillips said.
For a successful experience, Phillips also said companies must ensure that they are using a VPN provider is equipped with robust encryption capabilities, including Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, which is a widely used encryption protocol for data protection that protects data being transferred to or from a website. “SSL VPNs provide such flexibility and encryption levels to ensure security and safety.”
Allan Pratt, an InfoSec strategist and Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) certification instructor, explained that If employees spend a significant period of time traveling and working at public places, it’s recommended to purchase a VPN. “VPNs can be bought for $10 per month from commercial service providers or arranged through the company.”
The VPN client must be easy to locate by users, and they should be sure to utilize it prior to beginning any Internet or other activity, such as. “The IT department must install the equipment of employees to ensure it has it has the VPN icon is visible on the home screen,” Pratt said.
Pratt who is an information security and cybersecurity blogger on Tips4Tech said that security concerns don’t just pertain to data privacy or network security. It is also important for companies to ensure that telecommuters have physical security on their devices to avoid expensive negative consequences.
“Outright theft is a major threat to security,” Pratt said. One way to reduce the risk of the risk of theft is to require a password prior to when devices are switched on. Pratt suggested that users set timeout screens to ensure they can set their monitor to turn off or change to screensaver after a specified period of time. They should then require a password in order to gain access. “Always keep in mind that the best passwords contain at least 10 characters in length, using upper and lowercase letters, numbers, as well as specific characters.”
For physical security of devices Albiero recommended laptop cable locks should one need to leave. “If you’re in an establishment where you drink coffee, you’ll be required to use the bathroom. It’s tempting to just let your laptop go just for a moment.'”
However, in order for the security procedures to work as well as to better manage employees who telecommute, experts advise companies to include security concerns in the process of training.
“As part of an employee’s training for orientation and orientation, they must be taught the reason why they shouldn’t use workplace equipment in public areas where there is unsecure Wi-Fi available,” Pratt said. He also advised businesses to train employees working from home on how to use security tools in order to be sure that they are properly used (for instance, telecommuters need to be taught the reasons and how they should start their VPN client prior to opening the browser). Additionally, Pratt said employees should be taught to stay aware in order to avoid theft outright. “Even for a second, even in an area that one believes is secure the device could be taken.”
Phillips advised that businesses must also train employees on security practices, including backup of files and data Loss Prevention Best Practices. Furthermore with regards to the regulations and rules of telecommuting, IT and employees should remain on the same level. “Your company must have a procedure in place which is well-understood by your management team and employees who telecommute.”
He said, “Make it an HR goal to create and implement a training plan specifically for telecommunications workers. Pay attention to the compliance requirements and regulations of the company. Do not allow employees to place your company into a difficult compliance situation without knowing.”