May182017

Remote working is now ubiquitous within business but there are still major IT security issues to consider. Philipp Weiser of AnyDesk points out the potential pitfalls of remote working to help keep businesses safe.

No matter whether you’re on a business trip, working from home or on holiday, modern remote access technologies have given us all the ability to access our PCs from anywhere, on any device and at any time. Clearly this brings with it huge advantages for business, making workforces more flexible, responsive and productive than ever before.

But opening up your company systems to remote access is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly and in order to stay safe companies must make sure that both they and their workers are aware of the potential pitfalls.

As CEO of AnyDesk I’ve seen some good and not so good examples, so here are my top five deadly sins of remote working.

1) Sloppy security  
Secure networks are vital when accessing company information and data. Don’t just trust what security providers promise, check in detail every technical security aspect and ensure it meets the needs of your business. Permanent encryption, based on a standard protocol such as TLS, which is also used for online banking, is imperative for remote connections. It is also important to integrate a secure authentication procedure to prevent access by third parties.

2) Poor password protocols  
Unfortunately, left to their own devices, most workers will choose weak passwords that are easy to remember, and they’ll also fail to keep them secure. Anyone who knows the password and your remote access ID has full access to your computer, so companies must implement robust and thorough policies to prevent this from happening.

Some of the worst crimes include displaying passwords on notes attached to the computer screen or having a password that is too short or simple and easy to predict.

The best and most secure passwords are long, unique and random, so a password with more than 12 characters is a great start. To help you remember all those numbers and letters use a password manager for both convenience and security. Finally, avoid using the same password across different online services, applications and accounts: if one of them is compromised, they all are.

3) Remote waiting   
As much as remote working can be a liberating experience, it can sometimes be painful too. The efficiencies gained by not having to go into an office to access files and documents can quickly be eroded by frustrating latencies and delays when opening up programmes or files.

While the finger of blame is often pointed to a slow home broadband connection, most standard home bandwidths are in fact more than adequate to be able to provide fast access to the majority of files. More often than not the hold-up is actually the fault of the remote-access application itself.

This can be avoided by taking into account the frame rate, latency and also the volume of data transmitted during the connection.

4) Policy neglect   
Companies should always make sure to update corporate company policies and labour-law issues so that nothing comes back to trouble them. For example, does it have a company policy regarding home offices? Data protection rules and other regulatory issues are also important, and it is necessary to assess them in order to avoid future issues.

5) All the gear, no idea
Keep it simple. Too many features can make remote desktop applications difficult to use especially if users are not computer experts. Choose a solution that is clear and easy to use, and that only contains the required features and administration procedures. Only the most advanced or professional users such as IT administrators or specialists should have access to advanced functions.

Philipp Weiser is CEO of AnyDesk.
AnyDesk will be exhibiting at SITS on stand 104, showcasing the ‘fastest remote desktop application for private users and companies on the market.’

 

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