The Importance Of An Effective Remote Access Policy

The high demand for remote and hybrid systems in organizations has significantly increased network security risk. Due to this new and widely accepted development, several businesses balance business operations with data security to guide against attacks and unauthorized access.

Therefore, the challenge calls for the need to discuss the importance of an effective access policy immediately and put the policy into use.

But first,

What Is Remote Access Policy

According to Wikipedia, a remote access policy is a written document explaining the acceptable procedures of connecting to an internal network remotely. It ensures access to authorized users who need it so long as their devices comply with the guidelines, and if properly implemented, it will secure the network from potential threats.

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A remote access policy can also be described as a rule that focuses on how remote users can be connected to organizations and the requirements of each system before access can be granted. It covers everything from users outside the office that can be granted access to and the type of device that can be used to access the network.

For organizations to ensure strict compliance, employees should sign the remote access policy acceptance form.

Content Of Remote Access Policies

For a remote access policy to be effective, it must address essential factors such as;

User & Device Access

An organization must specify what exactly its remote workers can be granted access to within the network because some users may have access to delicate information that can be used against the business.

This approach is also applicable to devices that do not meet remote access requirements — such should not be allowed access. For instance, systems that do not have the latest updates should not be permitted until the necessary updates are done.

Delegate Eligible To Grant Access

Although it is advisable that direct managers only should be eligible to grant access to users, those eligible to carry out this task of giving access to users must be stated in the policy along with the authorized remote access connection.

The IT department can also employ centralized management to ensure that only authorized users are given access.

Guidelines For Authorized Users to Uphold Network Security

A remote access policy will also contain information that will assist authorized users in maintaining security on behalf of the company. For instance, it defines a secure password that the remote user must protect.

Disciplinary Measures

In situations where guidelines are violated, the policy specifies the disciplinary actions that should be implemented on defaulters, although the policy should also give room for exceptions. 

Essence Of Remote Access Policy

Studies have revealed that organizations primarily benefit from allowing their employees to work from anywhere else aside from the office environment. Global Workplace Analytics says it increases productivity by up to 25%!

Aside from the productivity of remote employees and the company, remote work has also been shown to reduce overhead costs for the company.

However, despite these benefits, the remote working system has posed a challenge to the IT department, especially from the parts of users who are not tech-savvy, which may expose the network to potential threats. Where a remote access policy is not designed, such a threat may not be noticed until damage has occurred. This is one of the significant reasons the policy must be in place.

Also, with the policy in place, employees are conscious of the need to be alert and deliberately guided against potential threats, making them responsible for safeguarding the organization’s network. Therefore, employees are put under the yoke to take some mandatory steps as contained in the policy, while defaulters must be sanctioned.

In addition, the policy restricts users’ access only to what is needed, and the way it achieves this is to split remote workers into groups where the level of access required will define each group. This implies that every group will have different access levels; hence the level of access a worker needs will determine the group he falls into.

This strategy will make it easy to stop a cyberattack quickly if it occurs.

The policy defines the means through which access should be granted. For example, access is given through a virtual private network that uses encryption and a strong user password that protects the data and control.

Updating Your Remote Access Policy

To stay ahead of cyber security threats, you must constantly be sure that your access policy complies with the organization’s security objectives. This is important because often, the security teams do not entirely understand the operations of their network from the users’ point of view.

Conclusion

The importance of an effective remote access policy can never be overemphasized because, if well applied, it will not only protect the company but also give the management rest of mind. This would enable them to look into other aspects that can foster growth and development for the company without worrying over the security of the organization’s network.

Adam Hansen