Remote access is the capacity to connect to a device or network, whether at your office or home, from a distance.
For creating a remote access connection, you can utilize a virtual private network (VPN), a local area network (LAN), or WAN wide area network.
Any software-hardware combination that enables remote access connections is known as a remote access service. Several software and tools exist that provide these services to enterprises.
This allows you to access on your PC all the data from another device, be it your smartphone or another computer. You can use remote access for viewing the screen, working on someone’s else PC while not having it beside you. You can also use it to open files or use apps from a device from a remote distance.
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Risks of remote access
Do you know that there are risks with remote computer access? There are several advantages of remote access, such as not having to carry your devices while traveling, being able to work at your office computers even in case of not present there, and accessing files on your computer at any time anywhere, etc.
However, there are still some significant risks associated with this practice, and regardless of the multiple benefits, remote accessing your computer is not safe.
Some of these risks are as follows:
Risk of viruses
In most cases, PCs used at home lack effective antivirus and antimalware software. Even if it is installed, it is ont frequently updated in most cases.
Users mostly disable automatic updates because they find them bothersome, not comprehending the hazards.
Moreover, most home users have obsolete computers, making them vulnerable to threats as old devices don’t get security updates.
Since these PCs are usually used to attack organizations’ data, most client-ready antivirus software does not prevent expert hackers from attacking your company through your home PCs.
Home PCs have multiple users
Family members may share a computer, making monitoring the websites they visit challenging.
Home PCs are frequently accessed by numerous users who visit numerous websites and run various programs.
Any of these activities can cause your PC to become infected with viruses or malware, making it simple for hackers to target your company whenever you log into your office network remotely from your home.
Home PCs have weak passwords
Home PCs frequently have weak or even no passwords at all, which makes it quite an easy task to acquire access to them.
Several remote access endpoints may connect to your network with a simple password. This single sign-on approach is troublesome because most users use easily crack-able passwords.
Thus, if you make a remote connection to your company’s network, your workplace data can be accessed by anyone who has access to your computer.
Access to secure data
The mistake of keeping corporate passwords on work PCs in unprotected MS Word, Excel, or other text files is another possible risk if you grant remote access to your computer.
Hackers can find it extremely simple to attack the device using these files.
At times, the administration eventually gets overconfident and fails to quickly revoke the access credentials of departing staff, which leaves their systems open to attacks.
Lack of management
If we talk about the risks with remote computer access, we cannot overlook lack of management.
A few organizations give work-specific laptops to their staff that is highly monitored and securely closed down.
For increased security purposes, this is a highly effective technique.
However, many organizations, particularly SMBs, do not provide this service or cannot pay the price of corporate PCs for every single worker employed by the company.
Resultantly, the staff starts working on their laptops. This can result in unsupervised activities, leading to increased threats of cyberattacks.
Lack of computer inspection
Several software programs for remote access do not check the remote machine for viruses or malware attacks.
Hackers might simply install viruses on your company’s servers and transmit them to every computer in your workplace network if you have accessed a single work device within the network.
End point of a VPN
Several endpoint users connected to unsecured WiFi networks tend to access malicious websites and download harmful software.
All of these actions make it simple for hacking and malware or virus attacks to get into your machine.
The compromised PC might provide the attacker easy access to the private network even if the VPN is safe.
Solutions to remote access risks
Regardless of the several risks, specific measures can still be taken to prevent any attack or other damage to a device when connecting it remotely.
These are as follows:
Set up a firewall and antivirus
A crucial first step in reducing the threats linked with remote access is selecting a firewall appropriate for your company’s size, scale, and scope.
You should also ensure that your firewall has highly available programs, antivirus, and antimalware software.
Set up an IPS and IDS
Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are often provided by reliable IT security firms.
These tools can supervise your network while working in the background, looking out for any potentially harmful or suspicious behavior and notifying you in case something is detected.
Set up a VPN
For safely accessing sensitive data from a remote area, a VPN is considered a vital tool. You must be aware of the several types of VPNs and consider adopting them for your organization.
A VPN is typically included with business-grade firewalls if you utilize them. Additionally, several IT firms that provide network management services provide the best VPNs.
If you live in the India , a India VPN is a great way to retain your access to all the content and websites that are not available in the India. Connect to the India VPN and get instant access to anything online.
Use multi-factor authentication
A highly effective alternative to single sign-in is multi-factor authentication. In this approach, all of the users on the device are required to show some proof or authentication to prove their identity.
Thus, for using remote access software, for instance, you could be asked, “What was the name of your first pet?” followed by your login credentials.
Simply adding a personal question similar to this may significantly improve your security.
Along with using your login IDs and passwords, you might mandate that your external suppliers contact your operations department to obtain a one-time passcode that allows them to access your data remotely for just one instance.
If you want to be really cutting edge, you may employ fingerprint or iris scanning technologies for more secured authentication.
Limit data access
Every worker in the office needs to have access only to the data they need to do their job. As an employer, one should ensure that employees are never given access to all data on the company’s network.
You should also keep an eye out for any employee who has downloaded or installed any data or software without your knowledge, which is often known as shadow IT risks.
It is true that the world is becoming a global village with the advent of an internet but even Technology has its limitations. You can do a lot of things with remote access to a computer but it also comes with its on challenges.
We hope that you find the article useful to get an insight about the possible risks of remote access and solutions.