How to Maximize Remote Workforce Internet Connectivity
February 12, 2020 Enterprise Connectivity
The growing trend toward cloud connectivity in Europe is spurring the mobile workforce of small and medium enterprises who are adopting flexible, remote employee strategies that significantly drive business productivity and profitability.
A recent report by Market Research Future (MRFR) asserts that the global mobile workforce management market is positioned to secure a substantial market growth of approx 13% CAGR, during the review period 2017-2023. Whilst SMBs are flexible to adopt innovations in computing and mobile broadband technology, and, see digital transformation as essential to growth, they seek guidance to navigate cloud implementation, security, and workplace expectations, of digital natives.
Gaining operational efficiencies
It's key to understand that digital transformation is more than a technology initiative. A survey of 347 business leaders conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Service, signifies the drivers which compel companies to embrace cloud systems, meet key strategic business demands for greater business agility, data capabilities, and better customer, and user experiences.
The call for cloud connectivity in Europe is even stronger for SMBs with remote teams and telecommuters because of such high-risk security mitigation. Although cloud computing is not a new concept, many don’t fully understand how cloud technology fits into their cybersecurity infrastructure.
A global WiFi metropolis
Low on cost and high on productivity, a ton of sensitive data is moving outside the confines of the office. For *32% of businesses, part of the team is remote, and part of the team works out of the same office. *state of remote work report 2020
This digitally enabled borderless remote workforce transcends the boundaries of cities, states, and continents. With 20% of remote workers logging-in from mixed and multiple locations other than their home, 27 % head to coffee shops as their secondary work location, according to a recent survey by Buffer.
One of the most common ways that hackers take advantage of the vulnerabilities of mobile devices, is through fake wireless networks. Often, a public WiFi network might seem reputable, but the reality is, it was set up with the intent of luring users into the network. Even when users are aware of the dangers of these unsecured networks, 80% still connect to them.
On-Premise cyber-security components
Whilst On-premise cybersecurity solutions such as 'next-gen' firewalls, secure web gateways, and message transfer agents protect the integrity of internal corporate data, they are built to protect your network perimeter, not data stored in the cloud.
When unauthorized access breaks through the network perimeter, any data stored in your organization’s public cloud applications, such as Microsoft Onedrive, Sharepoint 365, Google Drive, and shared drives, aren't protected. On-premise cybersecurity infrastructures' are simply the tools, appliances, and platforms that maintain internal network security.
Remote team protocols
Apps on your phone connect to it, communication servers depend on it, and services like Dropbox or Google Drive wouldn't exist without it, whether you know it or not, many remote workers use a personal email account to share and receive work documents.
Even though we talk to our remote employees until we’re blue in the face about cybersecurity challenges, when data moves across a global network of devices and operating systems outside of the local area network, cybersecurity should be a serious priority.
In 2017, Google removed 700,000 malicious apps from its Play store, up from 400,000 the year before. It's not only remote workers who face and cause security issues when remotely interfacing with an organization’s network.
Any remote worker, including telecommuters, accessing corporate apps on personal devices, leaves the gateway open to cybersecurity attacks, particularly those sneaky malware apps disguised as legitimate malware protection apps.
Since network firewalls, transfer agents and web gateways don’t protect devices and won’t detect external cyberattacks, remote-users connecting to the local office network are exposed to network hacking.
The GDPR reform is data protection and privacy EU law regulation, implemented in May 2018. GDPR applies to all companies worldwide that process, store, log, or share personal data of European citizens.
Under this reform, citizens of the EU will have more control over the safety of their personal data, and strict compliance mandates will be required by all websites to ensure this data is protected.
So what does this mean for the future of cybersecurity and how is your business going to be impacted? Even if your business is located outside of GDPR borders doesn’t mean you don’t have European connections through your remote workforce. The penalties for non-compliance are serious which means now is the time to prepare your cybersecurity landscape.
First and foremost, data security should layer into your current cybersecurity infrastructure, and a multi-layered approach is widely considered as a best practice.
Widely known as a VPN, Virtual Private Networks are perfect for remote workers performing tasks that involve company data, and in particular, unsecured public WiFi networks, which usually include those coffee shops that remote workers frequent.
VPNs combine layer tunneling, encryption protocols, and dedicated connections that achieve virtual Point 2 Point connections that sequentially prevent hackers from accessing any data transmitted within the connection.
With a secure connection public WiFi connection, alongside secure user access to the company’s internal network, remote workers, and all VPN users logged into (what is now) the wide-area network, enjoy encapsulated cybersecurity protection.
If your organization has moved into the cloud, whether you’re all-in, or just using a few public cloud applications, cloud security must become another layer of your on-premise cybersecurity infrastructure.