There are many security issues with remote workers. One in ten laptops is stolen. USB flash drives or memory sticks can hold large amounts of sensitive data and are easily lost, misplaced or stolen. One estimate was that 1,985 USB drives are stolen from the average major corporation every year. Home computers are unsecured and out of your control. Public wi-fi can be hacked. People can email themselves documents that can be misdirected.
However, the reality is remote work is only going to continue to grow. From a security perspective, perhaps it would be easier if you could keep everyone behind locked and secured doors working offline, but the world of work is going mobile whether we like it or not. People travel. They use iphones and blackberries. They work on their home computers. They use public wi-fi networks. They carry laptops and flash drives. Technology and the internet is enabling increased work mobility. People want that work flexibility. And business benefits incredibly from the increased productivity, not to mention employee retention and the other benefits of enabling remote work.
How do you reconcile the two?
You can look at the security issues above and decide not to allow people to work remotely at all. The problem is it’s like trying to reverse the tide. People will do it anyway. Consider the case of the government worker who copied the entire veteran’s database on their laptop, which was then stolen.
Or, you could look at the security issues and determine the most prudent course is to provide every tool you can to enable remote workers to do it safely. GoToMyPC is one such tool. GoToMyPC performance and reliability is such that it’s easy for people to work on documents and programs directly on their office computer – from home or while traveling. Traveling users know that they can get to a file back on their computer if they need it, so are far less likely to carry everything with them. That means workers more often leave data on a secured office computer and view it remotely and only when needed. This greatly reduces the risk that employees will carry that data out of the office where it could be lost or stolen.
GoToMyPC doesn’t make the home computer or laptop part of the Corporate network. You are just using any Internet connection as a portal back to view the secured and protected office PC. That means you don’t need to worry about the home computer and home security just to enable occasional after-hours remote work from home.
Because all connections are encrypted end-to-end, you can safely use public wi-fi networks, and GoToMyPC will encrypt everything you do. It’s more secure to use GoToMyPC to work remotely on an office PC from a relatively blank laptop at an airport, than to be working directly from that laptop using local documents and public wi-fi.
If you think about it, GoToMyPC is no riskier than giving workers a key to the office. They can’t do anything with GoToMyPC they can’t do by walking into the office every day and turning on their computer. In fact, in some ways it is a lesser exposure since their access is restricted to their computer only. (You can’t steal office supplies if you’re working remotely.)
GoToMyPC has many built-in security features that greatly reduce the risk of connecting to a computer remotely. As with most things, the biggest risk is password exposure. Unlike some other products, GoToMyPC requires two passwords with strong requirements, an account password and a computer access code that resides on the computer and is never transmitted or stored on GoToMyPC servers. These can be used in conjunction with a separate windows password so there are many levels of safeguards. Limited log-in attempts also offer protection, and it’s easy to change passwords at any time. You can also choose (or require) people to use a new password for every log in with the one-time password feature. The Corporate version can also integrate with RSA SecurID.
Other security features include automatic disconnection after inactivity, screen blanking and keyboard and mouse lockout protection, HIPAA and GLBA compliance, VeriSign, SSL, 128-bit AES encryption, etc.
GoToMyPC Pro and GoToMyPC Corporate let you administer access for your entire company. You can add, remove and manage users, even report on exactly when they were working. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple to roll out and administer so it won’t tap your IT resources – and you can save money by not supplying and maintaining as many laptops to remote workers.
The next time an employee asks if they can use GoToMyPC, consider – do you want a more productive employee safely connecting to their office computer from home or while traveling? Or do you want them copying your customer database or product roadmap to a flash drive and carrying it around in their pocket?
The idea of allowing people to connect in to your office from anywhere may seem risky, but not allowing it may actually prove riskier.
For additional IT questions about GoToMyPC, call 888-646-0016.