Due to widespread fears over CoronaVirus, entire organizations have gone from a traditional office setting to scrambling for a plan to provide secure remote access. As confirmed coronavirus cases increase across the globe, organizations are having employees work from home in an effort to decrease the virus's spread — and the potential adverse effects on day-to-day operations. From small businesses all the way to tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, companies are now requiring most (if not all) of their workforce to telecommute through at least the end of March.
Developing an action plan
According to a study OpenVPN conducted in 2019, 24% of companies haven’t updated its remote work security policy in over a year, and 44% say its IT department did not lead the remote work security policy plan.
So can your organization do now in light of this situation? TechTarget has outlined questions you should be answering during this time.
- What's the maximum number of users who need remote access?
- How does this translate into additional bandwidth needed?
- How soon will we need additional bandwidth?
- How quickly can additional bandwidth be provided?
- How quickly can we obtain additional activation keys and other resources to support the demand?
- How much more will it cost for additional bandwidth and network components?
- What technologies can we use to boost bandwidth cost-effectively?
- How will cybersecurity threats be handled in such a situation?
- How do we secure and protect the increased amount of data traffic?
- How do we scale back once the demand for remote access has returned to normal levels?
- What resources are available from local access carriers?
- What resources are available from WAN carriers and internet service providers (ISPs)?
After you develop your action plan, it's time to get the right tools in place.
VPN: AN ESSENTIAL TOOL FOR REMOTE WORK
Securing remote access to internal systems and online services is typically achieved by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In the case of CoronaVirus — many people have turned to VPNs for help.
A VPN provides your business with a securely encrypted connection to the network over the public internet. It provides an important piece of layered security that's essential for data protection. Using a VPN gives you the ability to remotely access important network resources and connect your company's branches and locations worldwide. This is extremely important during pandemics (and even just during flu season) when working remotely is the only choice.
When choosing a VPN to use, there are three important factors to keep in mind:
Does it allow for multi-factor authentication (MFA)?
MFA gives organizations more peace-of-mind when remote workers connect to their company's services. MFA means that two separate pieces of authentication evidence are required for your employees to gain access to a particular account. A good VPN will allow you to integrate MFA into your solution.
Does it provide access control?
Access control is all about controlling who gets access to what. It is one of the most fundamental security practices and is crucial to protecting your organization. Access control rules let administrators specify who has network access, and what they can access within that network.
Does it provide endpoint security?
Endpoint security is the process of securing the various endpoints that connect to a network, often defined as end-user devices such as mobile devices, laptops, and desktop PCs, and protecting the network by allowing only endpoints that comply with the company security policy to connect.
OpenVPN Access Server: The Remote Access Strategy Solution
OpenVPN Access Server delivers an enterprise VPN solution for businesses of all sizes. With this single solution, organizations can protect data communications, secure IoT resources, implement access control and network segmentation, and provide encrypted remote access to on-premise, hybrid, and public cloud resources. This allows organizations to continue normal operations during emergencies like, for example - CoronaVirus.
With OpenVPN Access Server, you can deploy a VPN in less than an hour. It's simple to provide employees with a URL where they can download pre-configured clients. Within 24 hours, they can be connected and working remotely. The deployed VPN is immediately compatible with OpenVPN client software across multiple platforms and devices. Access Server can accommodate Windows, MAC, Linux, and mobile OS (Android and iOS) environments.
For installation help, check out our video tutorials.
OpenVPN Access Server streamlines the configuration and management of an OpenVPN-based solution. Access Server provides a powerful and easy-to-use web-based admin site that makes VPN management and configuration simple for anybody (with or without Linux knowledge). The web based interface also has options laid out in a graphic user interface.
If you are looking to provide additional remote work capabilities during the Coronavirus outbreak (or for any reason at all), OpenVPN can help.