Thales eSecurity Blog

Enabling Secure Remote Working in Times of Crisis: Plan Ahead

Danna Bethlehem | director, product marketing More About This Author >

The need to ensure the ability to work from anywhere is more important than ever. In today’s business environment, constant access to information and services is essential for communication and getting business done whether you are in sales, finance, marketing or the legal profession. This is especially true when we face global incidents like we face today. Such unplanned events force us to rethink how we work. That’s why it’s important to ensure employees can not only collaborate, but that they can access corporate applications and information remotely in the same, secure way as if they were in the office.

It is Essential to Plan in Advance

Working remotely seems like the answer to many of the problems raised during crisis periods. Remote commuting must be a strategic decision followed by careful planning to eliminate all data security loopholes. Good planning can help businesses minimize the potential impact of such events, especially when it comes to protecting sensitive data.

There are different approaches organizations can take to offering a secure remote office.

  • Cloud services like Office 365 and Salesforce (SFDC) for example, are delivered in a SaaS model, and can be deployed rapidly, making it easy for people to work remotely
  • VPN access to the network, when most apps are still delivered on-premises
  • Remote desktop or virtual environments

In reality, most organizations will have a mixture of on-premises and cloud services that employees will need to access.

Unfortunately, businesses still rely on simple usernames and passwords, making phishing campaigns serious security issues. Even organizations that have migrated their email to cloud services, such as Microsoft O365, are still susceptible because, in the majority of cases, cloud-based email and other cloud services are only protected by simple passwords. In fact, cyber hackers are earning $2 billion dollars from business email scamming, according to the FBI.

Given the threats to an organization when it exposes its assets to external access, there are some basic best practices that can make the path smoother for CISOs and IT security teams who are scrambling to maintain business continuity in times of crisis by enabling employees to work securely from home. In two upcoming blog posts on business continuity, we will provide useful considerations for securing access to business apps and protecting your corporate data while employees work from home, or any other remote location. For more information on how SafeNet Trusted Access can help you ensure secure remote access for VPN users and cloud services such as Office 365, view this review, or download our Four Steps to Access Management Handbook.