Work Remotely

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Creating a Secure Remote Workforce

By | Business Continuity, Data Protection, managed It services, Productivity, Security, Technology, Work Remotely

In a few brief years, organizations of all sizes have been driven to redeploy their workforce from office to home or some hybrid solution. To suggest this was a deliberate move from corporate leaders would be false. Instead, the harried move has been in response to an unexpected world pandemic.

No one is sure if the remote workforce may grow into a stable fixture, a shift back to the office, or a home/office combination. No matter the case, a solid security solution must invariably be maintained as a central priority. 

BACS IT Secure Remote Workforce

Technologies Protecting the Home Worker

Even though the pandemic rages on, some corporations have signaled they may never go back to an in-office work atmosphere. A few companies are considering a hybrid solution, while others have called their employees back to the office permanently.

Current Technologies in Place, Protecting the Home Workforce:

  • Zero Trust has been a part of the networked system for some time. However, with recent developments, the zero-trust policy is being forced to take on a more substantial role. The Zero Trust model is a secure remote application based on a defined set of login rules for employees and devices to the network. Non-compliant devices are either quarantined or rejected out-right.
  • SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a method for wide-area networking and security. SASE is Cloud Service which bundles security, network, and policy functions, sending the information back to the source as a separate cloud service.
  • Identity Access Management is a broad framework of technologies and practices that ensures the right users access the appropriate resources.

Enterprise security foundations are being built on the three legacy technologies. However, more cyber-attacks are coming. Keeping home workers safe and company data secure means businesses must look at cyber-security issues from start to finish. One of the initial elements of a healthy plan is a Policy Statement.

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Taking employees out of their work situation and moving to an unstructured home/office environment is imposing for anyone. The first component a company must provide is a Cyber Work from Home Policy. The key to this document is setting the right expectations.

A work from home policy document must create an infrastructure to protect the worker from every intrusion.  The policy must seek to mitigate the dangers of such a radical move.  With the proper preparation, a policy can keep your team connected, safe, and rewarded.

A sound Policy Statement should empower your employees. Consider the following:

  • Trust: A Work from home worker must be fully invested in the company’s success. With the correct type of trust, an employee will go above and beyond what they are called on to accomplish. A company must establish a higher level of trust to cement the engagement bond.
  • More Time: The average American commute is 52 minutes a day. Policy statements need to point to this extra time and direct the employee to their families or themselves, rather than more work.
  • Focused Work: Office distractions are eliminated when working from home. Your team should be encouraged to schedule tasks that require an intense focus on certain days of the week.
  • Absenteeism and Lateness: Office norms are no longer an issue with a home/work environment. However, time is a premium, and home employees must be instructed to use that time productively.
  • WellRounded: Work from home employees must be encouraged to cultivate a complete family and life environment. Take time for passion projects and family hobbies. Well-rounded employees perform better at work.

It is essential to define the scope and purpose of the policy. Too short on procedure and employees may get stuck with making up their own rules. Too long, and no one will read or pay attention to the document.

Expectation is a vital part of a remote workforce. Employees must understand what is expected of them without being overly demanding. Responsibility plays a vital role.  Each person in the organization needs to understand security is a priority for everyone. If there is a problem, there should be procedures in place to fix the issues.  


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Multi-factor authentication is must-have security feature for any business and specifically those with a burgeoning remote workforce.  Vulnerabilities are everywhere. Recently it was discovered hackers were rerouting  SMS messages from 2FA apps and diverting money directly from bank records.

The following five authenticator applications are for the distributed enterprise:

  • Duo Mobile is used for corporate networks and is a part of Cisco. Enterprise features such as multi-user deployment, provisioning, and one-tap authentication. Back-up is to Google Drive and iCloud.
  • Google Authenticator is a no-frills basic authenticator app. Google seems content for Users to employ Android as its two Factor Authentication. Potential users may wish to have additional apps to fall back on.  However, this is a great authenticator.
  •  Last Pass is a comprehensive authenticator with full integration with its password manager.  Installation is a breeze, and users can quickly authorize the app with the push of a button. The Last Pass Vault is extremely helpful when moving the account to a new phone. Seamless operation between mobile and the desktop.
  •  Microsoft Authenticator works with the entire Microsoft ecosystem. A complete set of authentication tools are available for desktop and mobile. Pin or biometric logins are available. Sync the system with your primary Microsoft account to use the full capabilities.
  • Twilio Authy offers several advanced two-factor authentication features. First and foremost, it is their encrypted backup to Google drive that makes the app unique. The app makes abundant use of encryption across its platform, with encrypted logins.

Advanced authenticator apps generate time-based codes that refresh every 30 seconds. Hackers may gain access but will not work after the time code expires. Each of the apps above is exceptional for a distributed enterprise.

Do you want cloud solutions, but you are not sure which ones will help your remote workforce best? Then download our guide that covers the questions you need to know before migrating to a cloud. If you have more questions after you read our download, then contact us!

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Remote Access Software

Remote Access Software is ideal for specialized functions within the remote workforce. Remote Access apps and Desktop software allow users to access a computer in a remote location anywhere in the world as if they were sitting at the screen.

Some Remote Access software is designed for personal use, while alternatives are strictly for the enterprise.  Smartphone apps can be designed to access desktop systems.

Software and Apps for the Remote Workforce

Nothing is as fundamental to the security of a remote workforce as the software and apps used for an efficient worker. Proper design and the unique demands of the remote worker are paramount in shaping the applications needed for the enterprise.

Password Managers

In a world of multiple access to various business and personal accounts, password managers rise to the top of a critical needs list. It is crucial to have an authority system everyone is comfortable handling. Do not force an operation on employees!

Here are five good managers:

  • Nord-Pass is an attractive application with outstanding encryption features. Support for seven browsers, chat, and a data breach scanner makes the Nord-Pass an interesting choice.
  • Enpass combines a minimalist look and maximum security. Cloud host and SQL cipher for added security.
  • ZOHO Vault is a well-known application with valuable elements for a distributed network. A built-in VPN and a deep web scanner are useful quality-added factors.
  • Passbolt is an open-source application developed for the enterprise. Plenty of transparency and customization options are available.
  • Keeper supports various devices and browsers and comes with 5G of storage—a feature-rich app with instant messaging.

Advanced Password Technologies

Automated password management is coming into its own. The widespread endorsement of artificial intelligence and, specifically, machine learning have fostered many unique facets of password technologies.

Automated password reset tools are enterprise applications needed to automatically reset a host of new account passwords without human intervention. Many small businesses are implementing these tools for security and convenience.

Password Vault Technology is an earlier approach that is experiencing new technologies. A password vault keeps an infinite number of passwords and account data in a secure digital location. A single master password is required to access the vault.  

Management tools for the enterprise use several security layers to ward off internal and external threats from stealing login credentials. Many of these centralized management strategies are now cloud-based and heavily encrypted for the ultimate remote security.

Password Vaulting is a coined phrase that takes highly sensitive executive accounts and passwords out of the control of company IT personnel. The vault is digitally secured in locations known exclusively to a few in the enterprise.

Risk, Threats, and Solutions for the Enterprise

Statistics that illustrate the breadth of cyber-attacks are overwhelming. In the first quarter of 2021, strikes against Fortinet’s SSL-VPN were up an astonishing 1.916%. Another popular VPN service, Pulse Connect Secure VPN, encountered a 1,527% hike in assaults.

VPNs are separate networks within a public network where users send and receive data as if their machines were directly connected. VPNs are now encrypting data as it leaves the device, and any IP address is suppressed. Remote servers secure network activity by storing data remotely.

Companies are using all the communication tools at their disposal to secure connections for their hybrid workers. The Remote Desktop Protocol is another mechanism that is experiencing rising attacks.  Developed by Microsoft,  the RDP establishes a graphical link to another computer. Attacks on RDPs are seeing the same proportion increase of intrusions.

Modern Solutions

Companies are progressing beyond the traditional VPN services to a more protected environment. A recent survey of global leaders found that 40% of all respondents are planning a move to the ZTNA/SDP protocol. In comparison, 38% expressed the need for a more robust multi-factor authentication model.

The ZTNA/SDP is a zero-trust architecture based on a defined credential networking framework. SDP adds a need-to-know design, and the default is, “deny services to all.”

Enterprise VPN Service

Cisco AnyConnect: Cisco is a world leader in device security. The largest companies on the planet rely on Cisco networking machines. AnyConnect offers a lower overall cost of ownership, continuous automation from endpoint to endpoint encrypted security.

AnyConnect works on hybrid, full remote, or any combination in between. Robust MFA protocols are employed, threats are eliminated at the access point, and world-class analytics. There is no better VPN service for the enterprise than Cisco’s AnyConnect.

Cisco offers several cutting-edge technologies no other company comes close to providing. Umbrella Roaming is a cloud-based security service that supports users even when they are away from the VPN.

Under Attack

The enterprise is undergoing unprecedented attacks from criminals thousands of miles away. High-profile attacks are making headlines every day.

What are the primary attack vectors?

  • Supply Chains are under siege. Weak third-party vendors are causing havoc for large corporate businesses. Cyber attackers look for the weakest link in the chain and attack. Two of the most significant breaches, LabCorp and Quest, the attack originated from their online payment system.
  • Unpatched and Obsolete systems. No other area of the network is as preventable as keeping systems updated with available patching. An Apache Struts Web Framework was unpatched and contributed to 145 million social security numbers being exposed.
  • Compromised credentials are an enormous headache for the enterprise. Billions of stolen credentials are accessible for the taking on the dark web. Cyber-criminals use this vector as an entrance point because of its simplicity of stealing login information.

What is the Best IT Security Solution?

Will the relentless tide of cyber-attacks ever end? In a word, No! As long as the rewards are substantial, cyber-criminals find no need to slow down their aggressions. The “it can never happen to me, syndrome” is prevalent in every industry. There will always be that one staff member that will click on the apparent malware or ransomware email.

The sharpest minds in corporate security have provided a number of great tools for the enterprise. Each new cyber-attack creates a flood of new attacks and modifications.  Cyber-attacks have risen to one of the top ten corporate concerns for the next decade.

The World Economic Forum has determined that the money to keep pace with cyber threats worldwide will cost the enterprise nearly $90 trillion. Those dollars are merely keeping pace, not beating the attacker.

In the digital age, cyber resilience will happen with effective leadership and the secure design of infrastructures. First and foremost, corporate leaders must understand the foundations of cyber-security, and position their teams as enablers rather than casualties.

We wrote a guide on safety when it comes to working from home. Take a moment and read some of the safety and security tips we put in this guide.

Download the Guide

BACS IT is Here to Help Keep Your Remote Workforce Secure

When you want to protect your remote workforce, turn to the experienced Bay Area IT Consultants here at BACS IT. We will discuss your specific needs and create a security plan that fits your business. We can even help with unique security needs, so contact us. 


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Solutions for a Remote Workforce to Keep Bay Area Businesses Safe

Solutions for a Remote Workforce to Keep Bay Area Businesses Safe

By | Data Protection, Security, Work Remotely

A few short years ago, having a remote workforce never crossed the mind of many employers. The pandemic created a new worker paradigm. To remain relevant, business owners must shift their focus to supporting their remote workers.

Is the future of business remote? If so, how do you keep the remote worker productive, motivated, and most importantly, safe? There is a constant stream of headlines telling the world of new threats against the enterprise and its employees.

The following post highlights issues at the heart of the problem, and Solutions Available for Business. The safety of its employees working at home should be one of the highest priorities for any organization, large or small.

The rampant growth of malicious malware, ransomware, and DDos attacks are a constant threat.  Over 560,000 instances of various types of malware are created and detected every day.

Malware Each Day BACS IT

Digital Transformation

Larger companies transition better to a remote work environment in most instances. In comparison, many smaller firms have found the move much more challenging. Cybercriminals take advantage of the rampant use of unprotected personal equipment in use by smaller companies.

Well-thought-out strategies keep your remote workforce safe. Your digital roadmap for a successful remote workforce requires a coordinated effort from every department.

A digital strategy should produce innovation and value for your customers:

Remote assets will fundamentally change how you operate. A plan of action is needed to strategically embrace a secure and mobile framework for remote employees. Get everyone on board with the transformation. Make sure the company’s goals are aligned with each employee, in-office and remote. Create and execute a roadmap for more remarkable growth.

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Trust No One

Transition your team to a Zero Trust Security Model. ZTNA technologies provide a secure remote access framework based on defined access control protocols. Zero Trust Architecture enables the enterprise to open its portfolio of applications and data to remote workers without friction.

Zero Trust can be in the cloud, local networks, or a combination of hybrid technologies. ZTNA is not restricted by location; a zero-trust network operates efficiently anywhere on the planet.

Remote networks should use a cloud-first framework. Guideline execution of the network needs a combination of technologies to keep the remote worker safe.

Zero Trust Security Design

The organization needs to have a Security Strategy for Operating Remotely. This policy must deal with present circumstances, users, and equipment, along with future rollouts. Over time, the strategy should grow and develop as new opportunities arise. Strategies should be rooted into every employee and vendor as part of the workplace routine.

  • Authentication requires each user or device to confirm its identity to the server when a login attempt occurs. Authentication merely identifies the user or device; it will not influence what files the user has access to. This is up to the admin to assign separately.
  • Make sure each device in the home office is scrutinized for cyber vulnerabilities. Unprotected routers, mobile phones, printers, or laptops are easy pickings for today’s hackers.
  • Administrators must thoroughly enforce BYOD/MDM policies identified in the Security Strategy.
  • Home office biometric security is another option. Facial Biometrics bind digital identities to a physical person. Using a standard laptop or over-the-counter cameras can be used for seamless recognition.
  • Password efficiency is a key to protected systems; a combination of upper case, lower case, various symbols, and numbers is ideal. It is a good idea to have different passcodes for sensitive files and folders. These passcodes should only be made available to company officials.

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Zero Trust has rapidly become the security model of choice for its work from home framework, requiring all users and devices to be authenticated. User/application authentication, device authentication, and Trust are critical components to the architecture.

The principles of Zero Trust are shaped by industry guidelines: Forrester eXtended, Gartner’s CARTA, and NIST 800-207. Zero Trust is defined as a way to conquer the challenges, such as those mentioned in “Work From Anywhere World.”


Endpoint Management

Endpoint Management supervises access rights of a device to a network. The tools are a management interface to simplify or automate the deployment of a network device. Endpoint configurations are finding broad resurgence because of their powerful treatment of selective access for users and their devices.

The surge of remote workforce teams has brought endpoint software tools to the forefront of network security. Endpoint management provides a means for full visibility into network data points and connections.

The goal of modern endpoint security systems is to analyze quickly, detect, and block attacks in progress.


The Cloud

Cloud computing has become the backbone of a remote workforce. Associated cloud technologies are expanding at a furious rate. Many companies have realized that remote employees can be just as productive at home as in the office. Cloud applications have allowed companies to expand their search for quality employees. Geographical locations are now a secondary consideration. Real-time communication platforms such as Slack are invaluable to the entire organization.

Executives are rethinking work strategies to save employees money and time. In the traditional office environment, some workers spend over 200 hours a year commuting to work. Some companies that have been disrupted by the pandemic have begun to get rid of their offices entirely.   A significant benefit of cloud computing is its seamless access to the information a remote worker needs whenever they need it. Well-designed Cloud applications allow remote employees to stay closer to the files needed to do their job.

Quality remote software can help your team perform at a higher level:

  • Hubstaff , a time tracking and proof of work application. The bundle includes payroll, time tracking, and project management.
  • Google Drive is one of the world’s most used and well-known storage programs. The application is a cloud-based storage solution that allows remote workers to track files and documents anywhere in the world.
  • OfficeVibe is a unique platform to engage remote employees and build trust to understand a team’s needs.

Related: Questions to Ask Before Migrating to a Cloud (with FREE Download!)


Legacy Systems and A Remote Work Force

Remote technologies in the modern enterprise have become decisive factors to improving the employee experience. Desktop-centric needs of the past do not uphold the diverse demands of a modern remote and mobile workforce. Nothing is more infuriating to a tech-savvy remote worker than poorly designed company apps and unresponsive websites. In 2019, NetMotion surveyed a pool of remote employees to identify common grievances. Here are some of the top remote working issues:

  • 23% stated, dealing with legacy systems is in their top five.
  • Number 10 on the list, “Difficulty accessing corporate systems”.
  • The number one issue for a remote workforce was connectivity.

If not appropriately adapted, Legacy systems can have a negative impact on productivity gains from the remote worker. Legacy architecture may still provide its intended function within the workplace. However, legacy configurations may not work with current chipsets, operating systems, and software.

Incompatibility with newer systems, outdated support protocols from the manufacturer, and security vulnerabilities make legacy architectures risky. Research by Reworked states, “almost half of the global organizations are being hindered in their digital transformation by legacy technologies. Nearly 44% of these global enterprises cite a lack of IT skills as a barrier to success. These challenges are being met with newer, more robust IT solutions.

Overcome the legacy challenges:

  • Shift legacy systems to a cloud architecture if the undertaking is not too labor or resource intensive.
  • Create APIs to mesh with newer systems or turn to third-party integration platforms.
  • Upgrade the legacy component with a newer solution.


Empowering a remote workforce takes commitment from every corner of the enterprise. Business owners must use the tools available to ensure remote workers have the guidance required to do the job right.

  1. Working from home is not just about the job; it is kids, pets, husbands, wives, and 1000 other little details. Respect the life of your remote worker. Streamline what you want to say and how you say it. When the employee starts their remote work environment, be succinct in your message and communicate only what is essential.
  2. Leverage technology whenever and however possible. Employ the tools you have in place or applications that are readily available, such as Microsoft Teams.
  3. Make sure there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to see each other’s faces. Facetime makes people feel connected to training and each other.
  4. Create on-demand instruction. Management rarely knows when its remote workers will be on the job. On-demand training gives workers the option to access the material on their schedule.

Focus on Goals, Not Tasks

It is too easy and counterproductive to keep a worker in front of the computer screen. After a full day of work, kids or husbands and wives asking someone to stay on the screen will see only  modest results.

The rules of goal setting still hold true for the modern workforce, Use the  SMART approach.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Training and goal setting a remote workforce will take innovation and a lot of clever or shrewd imagining. Focus on one goal at a time.


Culture of Trust

A business needs to establish a culture of Trust that permeates throughout the organization. Executives must know who they can depend on. Companies are at risk from various cyber vultures, and management must know how to mitigate constant threats.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Trust is a critical element of good communication, teamwork, and a commitment to productivity. Leaders at all levels of your company must be honest and supportive of their remote employees. A consistent message of accountability for everyone is vital to a successful organization.

Paul Zak, Harvard Researcher, studied High Trust companies and discovered some amazing results.

  • High trust companies report 74% less stress
  • 106% more energy at work
  • 50% higher productivity
  • 13% fewer sick days
  • 76% more engagement
  • 29% more satisfaction with their lives

A remote workforce needs to be cognizant of their surroundings. The employee must be on the lookout for any questionable activity with their co-workers or vendors and should have no question where they report the activity.

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Working In a Vacuum

Companies are rethinking their remote workforce strategies, declaring the situation may not be so great after all. Projects are taking longer, collaboration is more challenging, and training is a struggle. Behind the scenes, executives are claiming the work from home experiment is not a viable long-term solution.

Executives admit the move to remote work was not well-planned. CEOs believe productivity gains realized in the early part of the pandemic have peaked. Significant changes must be made if the experiment is to survive.

Fortunately, for a well-connected and trusted business, things are a bit different.

More employers are starting to embrace the work from home revolution. Innovation and technology have made the transformation, training, and work environments more attractive to potential employees everywhere.

Remote work is here to stay; however, there will always be those employees who want to be in the office. Industries such as construction, food, and retail need on-site employees.

New tools and strategies must be developed and embraced for the new work paradigm to be a success. Business owners must find the right balance between office and at-home work environments to make their business effective and productive.

Slack surveyed 9,000 employees in six different countries and found that 72% preferred a remote-office work scenario. Only 12% of that total wanted an exclusive work-from-home environment.

Businesses and their employees cannot work in a vacuum. Organizations must understand the opportunities to connect with one another increase the employee’s scale and capacity. When a remote or hybrid workforce is implemented correctly, employee productivity and job satisfaction are through the roof.

The successes of one elevates us all.

Connect with BACS, For Your Remote Workforce Requirements.

A Bay Area IT Solutions provider


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Ten Critical Facts Business Owners Must Know When Installing a Virtual Network for Employees to Work Remotely

By | IT Support, Work Remotely

Since working from home and virtual workplaces is becoming increasingly common, employees are doing what needs to be done from pretty much every corner of the world. Virtualization permits organizations to simulate different conventional equipment bits, such as servers, storage gadgets, or networks.

Here are the crucial facts business owners should be aware of when looking for an IT consultant to set up a virtual network for workers to work remotely.


1. Find an expert with prior experience and excellent client references setting up remote access networks

The cost to solve problems made by beginners is a lot higher than the initial expense to get it right the first time with an expert. It’s almost always a better decision to pay some extra initial costs to take care of business the right way.



2. Ensure who you hire performs a thorough assessment in advance

If your advisor doesn’t demand an intensive assessment before giving you a proposal, do not recruit that vendor! If they don’t have a clear and thorough understanding of your needs and your current setup, they could sell you an inappropriate solution.



3. Make sure the work includes training for you and your employees

Numerous IT consultants are incredible at installing the technology yet miss the mark when training you and your employees on utilizing the technology you recently purchased.

The significance of training employees is essential. Training doesn’t only show that your organization needs everybody to be on the same wavelength; it also demonstrates your responsibility to help your employees succeed. Carrying out training the correct way can help you meet business objectives and enhance staff satisfaction while saving time and money.




4. Demand a guarantee of help desk support

Dealing with the growing technology demands of remote employees isn’t simple for any business, and it very well may be particularly challenging for small companies.

One of the main attractions of working off-site is the ability to work on weekends or for late hours. That reality implies you need somebody to be available to be on-call during those hours if your staff has technical issues signing in or getting into the system.




5. Ensure who you hire is responsible for maintaining the system

Virtual office systems need to be well taken care of to ensure they work appropriately and remain secure. It is crucial to hire someone ready to carry out routine checkups and updates of your system, typically under a maintenance service plan.

Consistent monitoring makes problems all the more effectively preventable, and the appropriate design of warnings can ensure that significant issues be distinguished and settled even before they intrude on daily business tasks.



6. Find a professional who can manage both the telephone and the virtual network system

If you need your telecommuting staff to have the option to make and get calls as if they are in the workplace to the caller, search for somebody who can configure your telephone framework to work with your remote worker’s home telephone or mobile phone.




7. Ensure your advisor is willing and ready to be a seller connection for your particular business applications or various exclusive applications

It’s stunning how many fundamental applications work fine inside the workplace setting, yet jam or shutdown when connected to a remote area. It’s imperative to guarantee your IT specialist to be capable and ready to confirm your applications will work proficiently remotely, implying they may need to call the help desk of at least one of your product vendors. A few consultants don’t provide this level of administration or charge additionally for it.



8. Find a consultant who can establish a worker monitoring and content filtering system

If your group is new to telecommuting, there’s probably going to be a transition period. When monitoring software is effective, it helps keep up productivity, maintains security, and is a useful instrument for telling supervisors which employees need additional help in acclimating to new work strategies.

Consider the size of your business when choosing a content filtering program. Have it be consistent and straightforward, and communicate its function and purpose to your staff.

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9. Consider setting up a VPN connection

Some free, open Wi-Fi systems are not safe. That implies a hacker could, without much effort, intercept the data you send over an open network, together with your passwords and banking data. Using a VPN makes it possible to connect to the system safely whenever you are working remotely. A VPN and keeps your staff from open systems and diminishes the chances of hackers targeting your organization. Setting up a VPN for employees to use when working off-site can be a quick, simple, and successful security framework. Make sure you teach every employee how to use the VPN when connecting to the system.



10. Educate employees on the best security practices to avoid cyber-attacks.

Mistakes made by the end-user are regularly the greatest danger to the security of your system. Regardless of whether somebody installs a malware, unintentionally erases a key folder or document, visits obscure sites, or offers classified data, end-clients are ordinarily at the foundation of each PC issue.

Much of the time, these activities are not purposeful, yet the impact of viruses is the same regardless of whether the download was intentional or unintentional.

Spam is a peril every business faces. Despite killing office effectiveness and presenting viruses and Trojan attacks, spam can occupy enough capacity to crash your system. Luckily, a decent email filter might be all you need.

Regular training on appropriate email, device, and Internet usage, together with routine support and monitoring of your essential information and system, are the best way to prevent cyber-attacks.