Talented job candidates are out there, but unfortunately the perfect candidate for a job in Sydney, Australia, may reside in Lima, Peru, or vice versa. Luckily, with secure remote access solutions, geography is no longer a limitation in connecting top talent from across the globe with work opportunities. Companies with reliable secure remote access solutions not only have a competitive edge in attracting these valuable candidates, but also benefit from the larger candidate pool.
Here are some of the beneficiaries of secure remote access solutions:
Bringing a child into the world can be an overwhelming, tumultuous time when new parents may feel torn between their careers and families. Many parents with new children feel pressured to resume work as soon as possible, then quickly regret the precious bonding time they missed with their infant. Secure remote access solutions enable these parents to witness their child’s first steps while also pursing their own passions with a flexible work from home (WFH) career.
Military spouses or spouses of those with jobs that require frequent relocation can benefit from secure remote access solutions. In lieu of conducting a time-consuming job-hunt at each new location or transferring branches, this group can find a company with secure remote access solutions that enable working from home so that their career continues to grow regardless of location. Additionally the companies that hire military spouses benefit from the talent and expertise they bring to work, thanks to secure remote access.
Part-time Job Seekers
A freelancer with a fulltime job in one location may want to pursue an opportunity in another location. Secure remote access solutions open up a host of freelancing and part-time opportunities across the globe, connecting us and fostering collaboration and creativity like never before.
In an increasingly wired and digital world, flexibility is king. Companies unable to offer WFH options fall behind in attracting and maintaining top talent. Having to relocate for a position costs time and money and many talented candidates are leery of leaving family, friends and their communities behind to pursue a career elsewhere. Secure remote access takes physical location out of the equation, giving companies a competitive hiring edge. Once hired, WFH employees tend to be more productive, less absent from work and more cost-effective for employers, who no longer have to purchase expensive laptops, tablets, phones, printers and Internet services. HOB offers an array of secure remote access solutions guaranteed to give your business a competitive edge in the “war for talent” and to maintain valuable employees who can bring their best to the job, even from a distance.
Visit our website to learn more about our comprehensive Remote Access solutions.
A couple of weeks ago we discussed the importance of network security in supporting an agile workforce. Another aspect of this discussion is mobile device security, as a fortified network is ineffective if data can escape through the mobile devices accessing it. For example, it is commonplace for an employee to fly out the door to a meeting and need to check his or her email while in line for coffee. This poses a threat to corporate data and networks, as data now may travel through foreign and unprotected environments. In order to safeguard mobile devices, companies must adopt robust mobile security solutions. Here are some best practices for ensuring mobile security for today’s on-the-go workforce.
Corporations should require a PIN or password for access to the operating environment on a mobile device. Enterprise application access via single sign-on is probably the easiest way to implement a password policy, as once a mobile device has been validated, further applications can automatically be accessed without the need to enter another password.
For mobile security, Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions can be very powerful tools. They are the foundation of secure access, ensuring that individuals have access to the corporate data that they need; and nothing else. This protects corporate data from malicious inside hacks conducted by disgruntled employees.
Device and Data Encryption
Encrypting corporate data traveling to mobile devices adds an additional layer of protection if data ends up in the wrong place. For mobile workers, IT administrators should install encryption solutions that give company decision makers the ability to control the flow of data.
Companies that allow remote work can ensure that their employees are not the weak points in the secure system by educating them on basic cybersecurity practices. For example, employees should never access corporate information via public Wi-Fi and instead use a VPN with SSL encryption or equivalent. However, in the chaos of the modern day world, many employees opt for convenience and speed rather than security. Education can emphasize the importance of security.
One of many solutions that HOB offers for the mobile workforce is HOBLink Mobile. HOBLink Mobile allows mobile workers to access corporate data (e-mails, calendars, notes and contacts in Outlook) through a single app downloaded to a mobile device (available for iOS and Android). This means that employees never have to allocate valuable storage space on their mobile devices to view and use corporate data securely. Data is never saved on the device but only displayed to the user. This helps increase security, because no sensitive data will be on the device in case of theft or loss. On top, all data exchanged via HOBLink Mobile is SSL-encrypted and advanced compression methods ensure high performance even over low bandwidths.
Read more about access for mobile workers on our website.
Our customers always knew that our secure remote access solutions were exceptional and now we have additional accolades to prove it. At the 10th annual 2015 IT World Awards, hosted by Network Products Guide, the IT industry’s leading technology research and advisory publication, HOB won three awards for our Remote Desktop Virtual Private Network (HOB RD VPN version 2.1).
Our flagship product, HOB RD VPN (version 2.1), won gold in the “Best Security Software” category, silver in the “Best IT Software” category and bronze in the “Most Innovative IT Software” category.
The awards honor excellence in every facet of the IT industry, people and products included. Nominees went through a rigorous review process conducted by a panel of industry experts before winners were announced.
Here’s what sets our product apart: HOB RD VPN is not your typical SSL VPN. It’s high-performance, enabling convenient, yet secure remote access to enterprise resources and data, thereby decreasing costs and administration effort while increasing productivity and enhancing IT security. Version 2.1 of HOB RD VPN improves accessibility and auto-synchronization of corporate files across different platforms and devices.
Secure remote access is a top of mind industry issue as ever-connected employees demand flexible work environments. Employers must meet this demand while ensuring that corporate intellectual property is safe. Our solution meets both sides in the middle; equipping mobile workers with the access and resources they demand, while gifting industry leaders with peace of mind, knowing that this information remains secure.
We’re extremely proud and humbled to receive industry recognition alongside some of the brightest and best in the business and see these awards as a milestone in our journey to fuse security and flexibility for all of our customers.
Security and flexibility seem to be antithetical concepts. Storing your money in a high security vault may be the safest option, but stashing your savings under your mattress makes your cash easier to access.
Business leaders face a similar challenge when selecting a system that can accommodate a remote workforce, BYOD environment and long distance collaboration while also keeping corporate data and correspondence secure. As employees increasingly expect the ability to work from wherever on whatever device they please, network security becomes increasingly important.
Here are our suggested best practices for optimizing network security for an agile workforce:
Monitor Network Traffic
When employees remotely access a corporate network from multiple personal devices there are more access points across a wider geographical span and therefore more areas vulnerable to potential breaches. Applications that require additional bandwidth may also hinder network speed and reliability. To ensure maximum performance and minimal breaches, businesses must constantly monitor network activity for unusual occurrences and set guidelines for bandwidth usage.
Require an Identify and Access Management (IAM) Solution
An IAM solution will prevent network intrusions via compromised access credentials. An unified identification approach that raises all access to a secure standard will minimize the network security risks associated with remote access work. Single sign-on authentication methods relieve the authorization burden for employees and a company’s IT team. For more information on the benefits of single sign-on IAM solutions, check out our E-book.
Create a Separate BYOD Network
The stress of a BYOD environment on a corporate network slows bandwidth and therefore productivity. Many times bandwidth issues arise from employees conducting personal activities on their devices while connected to the corporate network. Redirecting these devices to the guest network reduces bandwidth for customers and visitors, so companies should instead install a separate BYOD network that also authorizes devices for corporate security compliance before enabling them to connect.
Install Secure Remote Access for Mobile and Remote Work
Finally and most importantly, a secure remote access solution is vital to network security and enabling an agile workforce. Public Wi-Fi networks present a host of dangers to corporate data and applications. An effective secure remote access solution should include a VPN, network access controls and context-aware authentication to prevent unapproved access.
HOB’s remote desktop VPN alleviates many of the burdens associated with supporting a mobile and agile workforce so that enterprise leaders can focus on the benefits, such as increased productivity and collaboration in lieu of fretting about fraud and information theft.
Stay tuned for the next installment of Keeping Up with an Agile Workforce!
Flights booked. Bags packed. Laptops charged. This weekend a hand-picked delegation of HOB employees will travel to Las Vegas in order to exhibit at HP Discover 2015. From June 02 to June 04 visitors have the opportunity to see live demos of our latest software innovations. Our remote access experts will welcome you at booth #2339.
If you are interested in highly secure remote access solutions, you should have a closer look at our flagship product HOB RD VPN. It is a comprehensive solution that provides secure remote access to centrally stored business data and applications at any time, from anywhere, and with almost any device. HOB RD VPN supports many different platforms, including Windows, Linux, and MacOS. It requires no client-side installation or administration rights and is multi-tenant capable, making it easy to manage access to data and applications. Users also benefit from the easy and secure single sign-on features.
While you are at our booth, make sure to ask for a demo of our HTML 5 Client (HOBLink Webterm RDP) and our integrated data synchronization tool (HOBLink DASH) that lets you share data across multiple devices without transferring any data to servers outside of your company network.
We’re excited to talk to you about your IT Security needs. See you in Las Vegas. Viva IT Security!
The concept of working from home is often associated with a host of negative connotations. Distraction, idleness, avoiding responsibility and therefore decreased productivity are just a few of the preconceived notions often correlated with working within familiar confines. Although working from home means being farther away from a manager and closer to the television and perhaps an attention-seeking dog, recent studies and surveys contradict the impact of these “distractions” and reveal that working from home benefits employees and companies alike in three distinct areas.
Ctrip, China’s travel agent giant, monitored the work performance and productivity of two groups of employees—a group working form home and a group of office workers (control)—for nine months. Shift length, computer hardware and software, equipment and work order flow were held constant. The only variance was location. The results of this experiment on work environments showed a 13% increase in remote-worker performance, while the performance of office workers remained stagnant. Home-based employees worked more minutes per shift, taking less breaks and sick days than their office-worker counterparts. The variable group identified a quieter work environment at home as the root of this increased productivity.
Bottom-line benefits: work performance improves due to the ability of each employee to customize their work environments and maximize their comfort levels. Employers see increased work input and therefore product output.
Conservation of Resources
Commutes and office computers are costly, both in terms of energy and hardware. One day of working from home means one less day of idling in traffic, reducing your company’s carbon footprint. Businesses will also benefit from reduced office overhead costs, as employees will use less company resources on the days they work from home.
Bottom-line benefits: Employees will save fuel, companies will see reductions in electricity costs and conservation efforts will be bolstered. For more information, check out our free e-book about Green IT!
Work often induces stress. According to a 2005 study from Work and Families Institute, 90% of US workers felt that their jobs required them to work hard and that there was not enough time in their day to complete their work tasks. Similarly, nearly 50% of working dads and 25% of working moms claimed that they don’t spend an adequate amount of time with their families, according to a 2013 Pew Report. Working from home eliminates much of the conflict associated with balancing work and personal affairs. Employees feel more connected to household happenings, and therefore less stressed. In the aforementioned Ctrip study, annual staff turnover decreased by 50% among employees working from home due to increased job satisfaction.
Bottom-line benefits: Working from home allows employees to attain a more desirable work/home balance. Companies benefit by experiencing less staff turnover.
Due to the need for flexibility in modern society, there has been a drastic increase in the amount of employees who opt to work from home. Census data from the USA show that 17% of the US workforce works from home at least once a week. As businesses adjust to this rising trend, they must consider the reliability and security of their remote access solutions. HOB’s remote access solutions are easily tailored to your remote access needs and the first step towards maximizing employee performance and satisfaction.
Here’s more information on home offices, check out our free e-book: Home Offices Made Easy.
In our last post on teleworking, we discussed how remote working is gaining momentum and becoming more widespread. If a company implements, or is planning to implement, teleworking policies, there are a series of steps to take in order to address security implications.
Creating a Secure Teleworking Program
Prior to establishing teleworking policies, organizations must address information security issues by first defining requirements for both employees and employers. To ensure the security of teleworking, the following aspects should be considered:
1. The employer must determine whether to issue a company-owned device or allow employees to use a personal device for remote working. If the employer provides a computer, the employer can control what is installed and which activities are allowed or prohibited (such as instant messaging).
2. The teleworking policy should state what software is required for the employee to work remotely and what software types are forbidden on the computer.
3. If the network connections are secured incorrectly, sensitive corporate data can be intercepted during the data transmission between the home and the office network. To mitigate this risk, a virtual private network (VPN) is the best practice for securing communication to the organization’s internal network. When connected to the organization’s network, all transmissions should be encrypted, both coming from and going to the corporate network.
4. f the remote worker accesses the organization’s network from home, the organization should consider implementing a two-step authentication method- using two of the three commonly available authentication techniques (knowledge-based, object-based and ID-based). For instance, using a password and a security token is a good defense mechanism, as it forces an attacker to steal both the password and the physical token to gain access.
5. The operating system and all applications should be kept up-to-date. By regularly updating the device’s operating system with the latest patches and other software fixes, attackers cannot take advantage of software flaws that would otherwise be utilized to facilitate a hack.
6. The teleworking policy must describe what security features must be installed and maintained on the computer. Anti-adware/anti-spyware software, antivirus software and firewalls are just some of best practice security features.
7. Employees should be trained on security procedures.
8. The policy should explain to whom the user will report in case of suspicious activity on the computer. Support personnel should be ready to advise employees on how to configure the computer and the employee’s home networks for utmost security.
In today’s work environment, teleworking is increasingly being discussed as organizations analyze remote workforce options. VPNs create new possibilities that allow people to work from home and connect seamlessly and securely to the organization for which they work. By taking the necessary defensive measures and enforcing a secure teleworking environment, security risks can be minimized.
If you are looking for a reliable teleworking solution, we recommend you to have a look at HOB RD VPN, the comprehensive Secure Remote Access Suite “Made in Germany”. When using HOB RD VPN, companies benefit from SSL-encrypted connections, modern authentication methods and a maximum of usability. More information on HOB RD VPN can be found on our website: www.hobsoft.com
Business depends on data and technology, both of which can be abused by cyber criminals. A study conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reported that cybercrime costs the global economy a staggering $445 billion a year. Cybercriminals are gaining momentum by sharing information and launching more sophisticated attacks. Fighting cybercrime requires a holistic approach to safeguarding information.
To avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime and prevent unauthorized access to your data, here are some steps you can take:
Hackers are not the only ones who can gain power from information – by educating yourself on the existing types of scams and how to prevent them, you can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. After all, cyber security begins with personal responsibility.
Automate software updates
Previously, we mentioned the fact that software updates are important as, apart from product enhancements, updates contain bug fixes and solutions to security vulnerabilities. The good news is that many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks; therefore it is best to configure automatic updates.
Click with caution
Whether chatting over an instant messenger or checking e-mail, you should be careful not to click on any links in messages from people whom you do not know. The link could download malware onto your computer, or it could revert to a fake website that asks for private information, such as user names and passwords. These data could be used to carry out identity theft or other crimes. The same concept applies even if the message is from someone you do know – you should always be vigilant. Certain types of viruses multiply and spread through e-mail, therefore looking for information that indicates the legitimacy of a message is advisable. Also, exercise caution when downloading any programs.
Apart from practicing safe surfing, you also need to be cautious when shopping online. Before entering your payment information on a site that you have never visited before, do a little investigating to determine if the seller is legitimate.
When it comes to payment, a credit card - rather than a debit card - should be used. If the site turns out to be fraudulent, your credit card issuer may reimburse you for the charges, but with a debit card, the money is lost.
Use Common sense…
Even though our awareness about cybercrime has increased, mainly due to the ongoing revelations by the ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, cybercrime is still on the rise. Cybercrimes trajectory is fuelled by common mistakes such as replying to spam or downloading attachments. Therefore, common sense should be used whenever you are on the Internet. You should never post revealing personal information online, or share sensitive information, such as your social security number and credit card number.
…But be suspicious
Even cyber-savvy people still need to keep a guard up for any new tricks and act proactively to protect their safety. Although protecting oneself does take some effort, there are numerous resources and tools that can help. By adopting best practices and a few precautions, you can keep cybercrime at bay.
If you are looking for security solutions for your company, you can find valuable information on our website www.hobsoft.com. You will find several software security solutions “Made in Germany” that will help you protect your corporate network and files.
Stories about privacy invasions and hacking attacks make the news each week: from social media to government surveillance, our lives are becoming more and more public. In the corporate realm, the costs of a cyber attack can be huge: an IBM-sponsored study conducted by Ponemon Institute reported that the average cost of a data breach for an organization represented in the study was $5.9 million. Is the principle of privacy worth fighting for? How can modern businesses avoid cyber attacks?
Privacy: Everybody’s Prerogative
Many people claim that they are not concerned about privacy, declaring that they have “nothing to hide.” However, the nothing-to-hide argument is misguided because its underlying assumption is that privacy is about hiding bad things. This argument focuses only on surveillance or the disclosure of personal information, overlooking other privacy problems. It presumes a narrow perspective of what privacy involves, excluding much of the personal data that is actually at risk.
Although it may seem harmless for companies to collect small amounts of personal data, combining several sources of seemingly innocuous data can yield considerably more telling information. Another problem is secondary data usage, when data obtained for one purpose is then used for a separate purpose without the subject’s consent, such as when email addresses collected for a contest are sold to a third party. There are several additional forms of privacy invasion, including blackmail and the improper use of personal data to commit identity theft and other crimes.
Computing: Ideality vs Reality
In today’s world, blurred lines exist between personal and corporate computing in the case of smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops. Independent of the type of device and location, most of these devices contain both personal and company data.
According to Consumer Reports, some 3.1 million mobile devices were stolen in the US in 2013. Not only is this figure almost double the number of devices stolen in 2012, it’s also of great concern considering how many employees have corporate data intermingled with their personal photographs, private events and email on their devices. People do not want to carry multiple devices or have an extra, dedicated machine at home to access work material. As such, there is often an unavoidable combination of both private and company data on a given device – whether the device is personally bought and used for work, or company bought and used for personal purposes.
Fixing the Problem
Smartphones can be attacked just like computers, and consequently should also be protected from unauthorized access. With the right software, security and productivity are both achievable. For instance, in the case of mobile phones used for business purposes, innovate solutions exist that allow 24/7 and location-independent access to e-mail and other enterprise resources via data stored on corporate servers. The main advantages here are two-fold: the user can work with data larger than the device can handle, and, importantly, the data are never downloaded onto the phone. Therefore, data cannot be lost or stolen if, for example, the smart phone is lost. All data is completely and securely located in the central corporate network (more information on the HOBLink Mobile website).
Ultimately, it is our responsibility to adopt defensive measures that prevent the dissemination of sensitive information. With the right mobile tools, we can ensure security and performance, making it possible to safeguard sensitive information.
Most companies are turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) to reduce costs and increase security and performance. By using a public network, VPNs can connect off-site users, such as teleworkers and remote workers, vendors, and customers, to a larger centralized network. A VPN is considered as important as the internet connection itself, therefore choosing the right VPN solution is essential.
There are several different VPN solutions in the market today, therefore extra caution must be taken to ensure that the best possible decision is made when choosing a business VPN solution.
The two main product categories are dedicated VPN hardware appliances, and software VPNs (also called server-based VPNs). In the case of software VPNs, the VPN endpoint is actually software running on the device itself, whereas a hardware VPN is a virtual private network based on a single, stand-alone device.
The following four key points highlight how software VPNs are superior to hardware VPNs:
VPN software is generally considered to be a relatively low-cost way to deploy a VPN; dedicated hardware VPN appliances are more expensive than a software VPN because, generally, the VPN software is installed on an existing device. This means there is virtually no other investment required apart from software upgrades.
- Easy Network Management
A further advantage to the software VPN approach is that the network does not change. No additional devices need to be installed, and management of the network remains the same. In contrast, a VPN appliance involves adding a new piece of equipment to the network, therefore increasing the complexity of the networking environment.
- Less Training
Another benefit is that generally, less training is required in the case of software VPNs. Conversely, in hardware VPNs, the IT staff would require more intensive training since the configuration and management tools will probably be different than the ones used on the corporate routers.
- Performance and Scalability
The performance factor is equally as important. The ability to expand the VPN to support more sites or users should not be underestimated when choosing a VPN. Pure software VPN solutions benefit from high scalability. This is not the case for a hardware VPN. If a company were to start with a VPN appliance designed to support 50 simultaneous VPN sessions, and later experience considerable increases in personnel, the VPN would need to accommodate more users. This would require scaling up the VPN will require the purchase of more appliances. Selecting a VPN that is not scalable can easily double the cost if or when the VPN capacity is outgrown.
When choosing a VPN, special attention should be paid to the merits of the various deployment models (SSL VPN vs. IPsec VPN). Modern, pure software SSL VPNs do not require the installation of specialized client software on the end user’s computer. This translates to high scalability and the ability to support many different platforms (such as Windows®, Mac, Linux/Unix), from virtually any device. SSL VPNs enable secure server-based computing environment with strong SSL encryption and strong authentication.
HOB RD VPN is a very performant software SSL-VPN solution, which was only recently certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security. If you are interested in VPN solutions, don’t hesitate to visit our website www.hobsoft.com and inform yourself about HOB software solutions “Made in Germany”.