The Ability to Secure Data for Remote Access

With more and more organizations either employing fully remote or leveraging hybrid workplaces, the ability to secure data for remote access has never been more important. Secure remote access is an IT security strategy that allows authorized employees to have controlled access to the enterprise network, mission-critical applications, or sensitive data.

A secure remote access solution can incorporate various methods, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and endpoint encryption. It enables IT administrators to provide different access levels to employees and third parties based on their roles in the organization. Learn more about secure data for remote access and how Parallels® RAS secures corporate data.

7 Best Practices for Securing Remote Access

The widespread adoption of cloud-based services and high-speed internet connectivity has made remote work and hybrid workplaces viable options for most companies. The productivity benefits that these flexible working styles provide are huge incentives for organizations that usually allow them.

However, while remote work and hybrid workplaces appear to benefit organizations and employees, the same cannot be said about IT teams. From an IT management perspective, flexible working styles introduce many challenges, security being the significant one. Fortunately, you can manage security risks in remote working environments by adhering to technologies used for secure remote access.

1. Implement a Cybersecurity Policy for Remote Workers

If the organization allows employees to work remotely, it is vital to have a clear cybersecurity policy that ensures that each employee’s access to corporate data is secure. Without a solid plan, any worker can easily become an entry point for a threat actor who wants to compromise the enterprise network.

A clear policy with guidelines that comply with security protocols can help you prevent such issues from happening. Some of the cybersecurity policies that you can enforce include:

2. Choose Remote Access Software

A remote access software is an application that allows employees to connect to corporate resources from remote locations. While an organization can set up a virtual private network (VPN) to enable its employees to access enterprise resources from remote sites, VPNs have inherent challenges.

For example, since VPN connections are always bound to the client hardware, users must install the client application on their endpoints to access enterprise resources. As such, IT teams must support multiple devices, a situation that can get complex in a bring your own device (BYOD) environment.

A VDI solution such as Parallels RAS has some of the best features to look for in a hosted VDI provider. Unlike VPNs, it allows employees to run virtual desktop instances residing in virtual machines (VMs), which are hosted centrally in on-premises datacenters or the cloud. This way, IT teams can patch, upgrade, or configure all the virtual desktop instances in a system from a single console with ease instead of manually configuring each device.

3. Use Encryption

The primary goal of encrypting data—whether in transit or at rest on the employee’s local device—is to protect it from unauthorized users. Without encryption mechanisms, malicious actors can compromise the endpoints and steal or corrupt an organization’s data. As such, all the data should be encrypted, and remote employees should use only those solutions that guarantee confidentiality and integrity when accessing enterprise data.

4. Implement a Password Management Solution

Passwords are some of the most sought-after pieces of data for hackers, attributing to more than 80% of data breaches for years. Therefore, how you store and manage credentials reflects the organization’s overall security posture, whether it’s the internal employees or third-party vendors that need to access the enterprise network.

Implementing an effective password management solution is one of the proactive measures you can take to secure an organization’s data from those trying to exploit it. Such a solution should provide robust security features, including automated password rotation and one-time-use credentials to minimize the use of similar passwords that hackers often exploit.

5. Apply Multi-Factor Authentication

Authenticating the identity of employees who access corporate resources is an essential component of remote access security. MFA uses credentials such as passwords alongside either personal identification numbers (PINs) or secret questions that employees can access from their emails or phones.

MFA creates an added layer of login protection by making it difficult for threat actors to access enterprise networks since it’s improbable that they will have access to all the factors. Integrating MFA into the identity and access management (IAM) strategy can help you boost the overall data security measures within the organization.

6. Employ the Principle of Least Privilege

The principle of least privilege (POLP)—also called the access control principle or the principle of minimum privilege (POMP)—is an IT strategy that limits users’ access rights to only those resources they need to do their jobs. For example, a software developer whose primary function is updating the legacy code doesn’t need to access financial records. Similarly, an accountant whose job is pulling records from the database doesn’t require administration rights.

It is crucial to have all employees use standard user accounts when undertaking routine tasks as a safety measure. IT teams should assign administrative privileges only to trusted members of the organization and have them use those accounts when it’s absolutely necessary.

7. Create Employee Cybersecurity Training

Even the best cybersecurity solutions out there cannot do any better if the employees are not cyber-conscious. Hackers are increasingly getting more innovative and sophisticated with their attacks, and organizations with limited or no cybersecurity training programs are at a higher risk. Thus, employees should undergo training to understand the cybersecurity challenges that the organization faces and know how to deal with any that might crop up.

The Ability to Secure Data for Remote Access with Parallels RAS

The shift to remote and hybrid working has also coincided with a significant rise in cybersecurity incidences as hackers attempt to exploit weak remote access solutions. Implementing a robust and secure remote access solution is a significant step towards standardizing remote and hybrid workplaces.

Parallels RAS is an easy-to-use and secure VDI solution that organizations can leverage to protect their resources. As a VDI solution, Parallels RAS centralizes the management of all the enterprise’s IT resources, allowing IT teams to have seamless visibility across the entire network. For example, IT teams can restrict access to confidential resources based on users, groups, IP address, and Media Access Control (MAC) address from a single console with ease.

The platform also reinforces security in the datacenter by leveraging robust encryption protocols such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2. Parallels RAS also supports MFA, data segregation, secure assertion markup language (SAML) single sign-on (SSO) authentication, smart card authentication, and kiosk mode features that add extra layers of remote access security.

Try out Parallels RAS today, and start securing data for remote access!

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