Managing Ubiquitous Access to Network Systems and Applications While Remote
In an era where remote work has quickly become the norm, companies need to be able to provide employees with ubiquitous access to network systems and applications, rather than only granting employees access when on-site or in certain designated locations. That way, as companies adopt more flexible workforce models going forward, such as allowing employees to switch between working from home and in the office, your team members have the appropriate level of access wherever they are.
Keep in mind, however, that ubiquitous access does not mean all permissions and security strategies go out the window. Ideally, user permissions and access parameters did not change for you in light of going remote. If they did change, you should be sure to review those permissions and access parameters to make sure that employees only have access to what they need, rather than adding unnecessary risks by making permissions too loose.
To that point, IT teams should continue to manage network access and credentials. Even as you enable employees to access network systems and applications while remote with tools like VPNs, you do not want unauthorized employees to all of a sudden be able to view sensitive corporate data just because they’re working remotely. That said, you do want to provide ubiquitous access to the systems and applications employees need to do their jobs.
Providing Ubiquitous Access
Ubiquitous access to applications, from communication tools to HR platforms, can help employees do their work without having to be on-site, and you can often provide this access via the cloud. In some cases, applications such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools inherently provide ubiquitous access; however, in other instances, companies need to bring their systems and applications online to provide off-site access. You could also migrate your systems entirely to a managed cloud service.
Maintaining Security With Ubiquitous Access
While ubiquitous access can enhance productivity by making it easier to work from anywhere, companies need to make sure that ubiquitous access does not create additional security gaps. That’s why IT teams should continuously monitor and maintain user access to network applications and systems, and they should stay alert for potential security risks.
For example, IT teams should ensure that remote employees connect to the corporate network via secure VPN for all work activity, rather than using their own unmonitored networks. That way, IT teams can continue to oversee network activity to spot security threats.
Secure ubiquitous access can also require educating employees on best practices for working off-site, such as not sharing work devices with family members and having up-to-date antivirus software.
How Prepared Is Your Company for Ubiquitous Access?
While ubiquitous access to network systems and applications can make remote work significantly more viable, not everyone is as prepared as they may think. From not having a VPN to employees lacking sufficient internet bandwidth, you could have a number of gaps in place that make ubiquitous access less practical and secure.
ChimeNet, an experienced managed services provider, has established a simple self-assessment you can take to see whether your company follows best practices for enabling remote work. By figuring out where you might need improvement, you can feel more confident in providing ubiquitous access to employees.
Download the assessment now to see where you stand.