The Best Tools Available Right Now For Keeping Remote Workers Safe

With COVID and with it remote working becoming the new normal, it is important to focus on keeping the data of your remote worker's laptop safe. Read this article to know the best tools available at your disposal to safeguard your remote workplace setup.

Working remotely certainly has its perks, and while it's not for everyone - with many people ready to return to the office months ago - we may have to endure it just a little bit longer. But in terms of productivity, studies show that employees are actually much more effective in their work under the new home-office arrangement. Many companies, like Nokia, attest to this and are looking to make WFH available to anyone once the doors reopen. Kickstarter, for example, is calling and raising that pledge by leading the charge in the long-spoken-about four-day workweek.

What you can take from those companies' decisions is that remote working, in some capacity, is here to stay, and the way in which businesses and their employees perform their duties will likely be changed forever. Now, again, this isn't for everyone; plus, not all companies will adapt to a continued work-from-home regime, and plenty of positions require bums in office seats to be carried out. But it's fair to say that millions of people around the world will be using their lesser-protected home networks to carry out their duties. Or, even worse, public Wi-Fi zones, like coffee shops and airport lounges.

The problem there is, however naive or non-malicious the actions of employees might be, they run the risk of exposing the entire company's network. It only takes one computer as an entry point for hackers to attack the whole infrastructure and steal confidential data; or, hold it for ransom. This can break businesses, especially small ones, and it's very often these that get targeted due to a lack of encryption and awareness of the need for cybersecurity. Put simply, one in five small businesses will be hacked. Just think about that for a second.

Though they can't necessarily prevent you from being targeted, there are safeguarding measures that companies can take to prevent hacking from being successful and to protect the devices of remote workers. In fact, there are some pretty outstanding tools available right now that are equipped to combat any current or emerging threat. Read on to discover the safest ones and see which companies are responsible for them.

SASE - Perimeter 81

Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE, is a framework that blends advanced networking and security measures and functions as a cloud service. Being based on a global cloud network, rather than running on a physical and virtual point connection, means that the benefits to businesses, both in SASE's agility and flexibility, are massive. It's also what makes it cost-effective and inexpensive.

Edge-to-edge security, as well as network speed, are improved substantially. What's more, management of the software is simple yet comprehensive - you can easily set parameters on data usage, speed, cost, and security to be applied to each networking session. Some of the key components of SASE include least-privileged access management, endpoint security, reliable data protection, and much more.

There are various companies offering this. The SASE solution with Perimeter 81 makes the list for multiple reasons, not least because of its clean, simplified UI. Though the company only started out in 2018, its team has managed to put together an unrivalled, unified product that also comes with a firewall as a service, CASB functionality, and will soon include a smart SWG extension.

VPN - Cisco (AnyConnect)

A virtual private network provides mobile and remote workers secure entry to an enterprise's network through wired and wireless connections. By creating an encrypted connection between on-site servers and off-site employees, a company can authorize unfettered access to its applications and data from anywhere in the world and at any time of the day. What's more, VPNs make it possible to share data across various offices and operate under one shared network.

With so many people using the network at once, performance can be throttled and slowed down, which is why split tunnelling - controlling the extent of a remote worker's VPN access - is encouraged. It's possible to deploy a VPN for off-site connections to the company network only, choosing which apps to secure, with all other online activity going through a user's home network. There are risks involved here, though.

VPNs are ideal for small businesses and startups because they're relatively inexpensive and can provide reliable encryption when configured and deployed properly. For large corporations, it's definitely advisable to invest in a full-scale IT suite to ensure comprehensive protection, and not rely solely on a VPN. That being said, AnyConnect is currently one of the best out there and it consists of more than just a VPN.

The AnyConnect client is focused on security for remote working. You'll have complete control over who has access and be able to automate routine checks on all endpoints in order to effectively manage your company's security. From the management app, you can protect your employees' devices using cloud-based security, track analytics, and shut down attacks before they begin with Secure Endpoint.

Zero Trust Networks - IBM Security

Zero trust security provides an added layer of protection and plays a vital role in ensuring only employees can reach a company's network. It works on the notion that, you guessed it, no one - whether working on-site or remotely - and the devices they use can be trusted and must provide verification in order to gain access.

The term actually covers a catalog of tools that an organization can deploy to achieve the philosophy of zero trust. Anyone looking to implement this approach must first properly define their access parameters, as well as segment their network to ensure that departments can't reach data that has no bearing on their responsibilities. You'll then want to decide on the level of authentication you require - using multi-factor will only make your system safer.

IBM Security shines in this area because it works with businesses to tailor solutions that meet the precise needs of their operation. Companies can work closely with an in-house data-protection expert to co-create a strategy that protects against insider threats as well as those that come with remote working. In order to create a comprehensive solution, IBM will first measure the risks your current system faces and the practices you can deploy to remove them.


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