Top Remote Working Tools to Keep Productivity and Security High
Even as some offices begin to reopen, many organizations have recognized the benefits of remote work and look to continue this setup on at least a part-time basis moving forward. However, the more that organizations leverage remote work, the more they need to ensure employees have the right tools to keep productivity and security high.
What might have worked on a patchwork basis in the first few weeks of remote setups likely won’t cut it in the long run. Cybercriminals continue to get more advanced at targeting and breaching remote environments, yet employees do not want to be overly hampered with restrictions that make working from home difficult.
As such, organizations should strongly consider implementing the following types of remote working tools:
- A Secure VPN for Remote Access: When employees work from home, make sure they have remote working tools that enable them to work within their organization’s full network and security environment. Using a VPN can enable you to extend the functionality and protections of your network when employees log in remotely; however, keep in mind that VPNs can differ in terms of their security and functionality.
Look for a VPN that uses AES 256 encryption and an IPSec tunnel so that you always have the same gateways and firewalls in place as traffic routes from employees’ home networks to your organization’s network. Cisco AnyConnect can be a great option for many organizations, as it not only provides VPN capabilities but also offers security protections across devices when employees are off the VPN.
- SD-WAN for Remote Network Management: Another type of remote working tool that provides both security and productivity benefits is SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network). SD-WAN provides centralized, cloud-based access to managing your network, so you can easily set policies and oversee activity remotely.
With a strong solution such as Cisco SD-WAN, you can optimize network traffic, improve visibility of security and network activity and overall make network management a seamless process. You can also automate and easily manage policies and workflows across any location, including data centers, colocation facilities and branches.
- Holistic Network Security: When employees work remotely, they might be using personal devices to access sensitive data, logging into cloud applications and, in general, extending areas that need to be secured. In addition to traditional network protections, you’ll also need remote working tools that address network security at the endpoint level, so that threats can be blocked from all network-connected devices to keep the network secure.
Cisco Umbrella provides comprehensive security coverage across endpoints by using DNS-level protection and other defenses, such as a cloud access security broker. This security tool is especially useful for remote organizations with a disparate workforce, where users might be working on different devices and have different workflows than they would within an office.
- Flexible Infrastructure: Enabling productive and secure remote work also requires an infrastructure that allows for flexible setups and can handle an organization’s unique data needs.
Hyperconverged infrastructure, which can be built with solutions like Cisco HyperFlex, can allow organizations to combine hardware for storage, compute and networking, while also being able to manage everything remotely through software-defined infrastructure. HyperFlex facilitates ubiquitous and secure access, while also providing a secure backup for data recovery purposes.
Is Your Organization in a Strong Position to Continue Remote Work Successfully?
Implementing these types of remote working tools can go a long way toward setting your organization up for long-term success, but technology on its own won’t solve everything. You still need the right expertise and resources to manage your IT assets and develop strategies specific to your organization.
Working with an experienced managed service provider like ChimeNet can help. We’ve put together a straightforward assessment you can take to see whether your organization is on the right track for managing a remote workforce, and from there we can help you manage your remote IT strategy to fill in any gaps. Try the test now to see where you stand.