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!
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.
After we have already been to trade shows in the USA, Germany and Australia during the past weeks, we are now going to present our connectivity solutions to the Spanish audience.
HOB will be an exhibitor at the @sLAN in Madrid, which will take place from April, 23 – 24, 2014.
In the fast-paced IT industry it is especially important to always be up to date. That’s why we at HOB try to be present at as many tradeshows as possible. Being on the @sLAN in Madrid allows us to inform ourselves about the newest trends and opinions of the international IT market, without having to rely on information from a third-party.
The Spanish IT congress will host numerous IT companies, which will be presenting their latest innovations and products. This year, HOB will also present itself to the Spanish market and try to convince the visitors of its superior remote access solutions. IT trends that will be the focus of this year’s tradeshow are Cloud Computing, IT Security, Mobility, Big Data and Virtualization.
The @sLAN will take place from April 23 until 24 at the exhibition area Ifema – Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I in Madrid. If you are planning to visit the trade show, you can find HOB at booth number 22. At our booth, we will be presenting exciting live demos of our software solutions and provide you with additional information. Also, we will be having great giveaways for you. A special highlight for HOB will be the presentation of International Account Manager José Antonio San Juan Sampron, who will be talking about “Going Mobile – New Trends in the Enterprise Mobility Market.” The presentation will be held April 23, at 10:20 am in Room N110 CANAL.
We are looking forward to welcoming you at our booth and hopefully having many interesting discussions with all of our visitors!
For all of you who can’t make it to Madrid to visit us personally: HOB provides several opportunities to stay up-to-date about the newest IT security trends. On our HOB Trendtalk Blog, as well as on Google+ and Facebook, you can find information on topics about Secure Remote Access, Mobile Working, Cloud Computing and IT Security. Videos about those topics can be watched on our YouTube channel. And for those who like it short and simple, follow us on Twitter.
As mobile working becomes the norm, enterprises must develop and implement strategies that account for the wide range of devices and operating systems that employees use to access company networks. While creating a mobile workplace strategy, enterprises must also consider that access to critical data on a local network requires detailed IT security systems.
A new HOB e-paper, “IT Security: How VPNs Help Provide Secure Mobile Workplaces” shows enterprises how to addresses these challenges and create smart mobile workplace strategies.
The e-paper is now available for FREE download on the HOB website.
It provides key considerations when choosing an appropriate VPN solution and reviews the various types of VPNs. The e-paper also addresses key security topics and answers burning questions regarding VPNs, including:
- The Benefits and Downsides of Mobile Workplaces -- What are the most common risks that enterprises face and which best practices help overcome these obstacles?
- Developing a Strategy for Mobile Workplaces -- What are the most essential and mission critical aspects of a mobile workplace strategy?
- Technical Approach to a Successful Mobile Workplace Realization -- What benefits and weaknesses must IT teams consider before selecting and deploying the optimal VPN for their enterprise?
- Creating Best Practices that Will Maximize Employee Productivity -- Which best practices are the most effective in maximizing employee productivity?
- Avoiding the Security Pitfalls of a Mobile Workplace Deployment -- What pitfalls do IT teams need to be aware of so that corporate data stays secure?
Click here to download your free e-paper.
How will the e-paper help improve your mobile workplace strategy? Please share your feedback in the comments below!