COVID-19 increases remote access risks

Working from Home (WFH), also referred to as ‘remote working’, has proved to be an essential tool in the global struggle to contain the spread of COVID-19.  However, the sharp rise in remote working has brought with it a surge in network vulnerabilities as connections are made across unprotected links.

For WFH to succeed, several background technical systems and processes must be in place.  One example is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a popular tool enabling Windows users to remotely communicate with and manage systems running on their workstation/server.

RDP, however, is not without its own problems, being a well-known vulnerability itself, suffering a series of security issues over time.  Security experts recommend that RDP should never be accessible publicly without some other protection mechanism being in place alongside it, e.g. Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), whose massive security benefits are discussed in other articles from The IT Agency.

Good as MFA is, optimum protection for organisations and remote users is best achieved with a relatively easy to setup and configure combination of Firewall and Virtual Private Network (VPN) alongside the RDP.  The Firewall controls access to the host (i.e. the onsite server) and the VPN secures the link between remote user and host.  Of course, MFA can also be utilised as a further, complementary source of protection.

Keeping our clients working through the current health emergency is a priority for The IT Agency. That’s why we’re enabling clients to leverage our secure remote management tool for accessing their office computers.  In addition, we’re allowing clients to run their office anti-virus software on home machines for the duration of the crisis.

To further protect our clients, we are busy migrating data from office-based servers to secure cloud storage (e.g. Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive) and providing staff with secure access to office documents.

The IT Agency is committed to keeping business connected, protected and productive throughout the Coronavirus predicament.  For assistance with maintaining your business security in conjunction with extensive use of WFH, talk to us – the experts in remote operations – on 1300 872 727.

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