Three Ways to Secure Your Remote Workforce

With more than 1 billion people worldwide now working remotely, safeguarding corporate networks from attacks and other security breaches is more important than ever. While firewalls, anti-virus software and strong passwords are good first steps, they're not sufficient to keep your data and IT infrastructure from being compromised by remote PCs connecting to the network. The following solutions can help ensure your remote workers don’t jeopardize the integrity of your IT investments. The Microsoft technology experts listed under each can assist you.

1. Set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A VPN is a cost-effective, highly secure network built using shared or public networks such as the Internet. Implementing a VPN helps ensure that only authorized users can access your corporate network and sensitive data, regardless of whether workers log on at home, in a café or on the road.

  • Avatar Computer Solutions, Inc. specializes in helping small and midsize businesses design, install and manage VPNs and other remote access solutions so your people stay connected to the corporate office no matter where they work—and your critical data and IT systems stay safe.
  • SafeNet, Inc. offers High Assurance (HA) Remote, VPN software used by the federal government that provides numerous high-level security features, including Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) technology, device authentication and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm.
  • Search Pinpoint for more VPN experts.

2. Embrace virtual desktops.

Workers are conducting business over less secure public networks in cafes, hotels and airports with increasing frequency. They’re also regularly connecting to their employer’s corporate network through a variety of personal devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Creating virtual desktops for these users can help protect your network and data from malware and other IT threats.

  • AcXess V-Works, provided by AcXess, is an online virutal machine management service that brings you an affordable, customized and dynamic virtual machine lab for all your sales, training, development and quality assurance needs. Give clients and key prospects a perfect "live" software experience without downloads or installs. 
  • Search Pinpoint for more virtual desktop solutions.

3. Move to a private cloud.

With cloud computing, workers can access key applications, data and resources on-demand, over the Internet. In a private cloud solution, cloud services are derived from resources solely dedicated to your organization, whether on-premises or off-premises. Besides giving you many of the benefits of public cloud computing—including cost-effectiveness, scalability and flexibility—a private cloud offers tighter control and customization of your solution. For businesses concerned that public cloud computing could compromise security, a private cloud is an attractive option.

  • Connectria Corporation offers Windows private cloud computing solutions, customization and hosting for businesses that want the benefits of cloud computing but don’t want to run their virtual machines on a shared cloud infrastructure. Businesses can outsource the hosting and administration of network hardware and software without sacrificing reliability or security.
  • Intellinet helps customers design a strategy for adopting Office 365—the cloud version of Microsoft’s business productivity software suite. Not only do your workers gain the flexibility to securely work when and where they want, you increase business productivity while reducing IT overhead and costs.
  • Search Pinpoint for more cloud computing solutions.

For more applications, professional services and expert advice to help secure your remote workforce, see the Related Links.