Social distancing has become one of the necessary measures due to the spread of the coronavirus infection. In an era of unprecedented connectivity based on technological and internet innovations, remote work for some sectors has continued uninterrupted. Practically, the personal and professional lives of hundreds of thousands have continued in a familiar communication environment—the Internet.

The increase in the number of virtual workers during times of social distancing has highlighted important cybersecurity issues. What should (and shouldn’t) we do to ensure network security at home? What is a VPN network and its role in our safety while working from home? We will discuss these important questions in the following paragraphs.

What is a VPN Network and What Requirements Should We Meet for Optimal Results?

A Virtual Private Network, commonly known as a VPN, is a widely used service. It is an essential part of the operations of many businesses and individuals with high privacy requirements on the Internet. Through a VPN, employees working from home can securely access company data.

Installing a VPN is to encrypt your IP address and the data you share to protect them. For example, a reliable VPN can provide your employees with direct access to work data and resources without downloading files locally via emails or other platforms.

A VPN makes your online activity untraceable and significantly reduces the risk of cyberattacks. Generally, there are three main steps each user should take to acquire a VPN network that ensures protection for all their devices:

  1. Subscription to a VPN Service – There are many providers on the market offering VPN services. The choice depends on the user’s capabilities and preferences;
  2. Downloading and Installing the Software – Using a VPN becomes possible after installing a software service that is activated on each of the used devices. Some types of software are downloaded and installed on a device for network distribution (known as VPN routers);
  3. Starting and Connecting to the VPN – The VPN service is started, and then it needs to be connected to a specific server.

Working from home requires a VPN network since using the internet and local networks at home do not imply high levels of IT security. This is not the case in the office, where establishing a secure IT infrastructure is mandatory.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Remote Access Systems Like TeamViewer and AnyDesk Without a VPN?

Remote access systems like TeamViewer, AnyDesk, and their alternatives are particularly popular tools today. Despite their convenience, they also pose risks regarding the protection of corporate information, especially in the absence of a VPN network.

The biggest risk with using remote access systems is the possibility of unauthorized access to your computer and/or someone else’s in the organization. The risk is much higher without a VPN network. Therefore, cybersecurity specialists do not recommend using remote access systems without taking preventive measures such as:

  • Using a VPN – As mentioned, internet connectivity would be much more secure with a VPN;
  • Using Only Work Devices – Company laptops, smartphones, or tablets should only have updated and well-protected software (including antivirus, process monitoring, firewalls, VPN, and more). Therefore, work devices should be used only for corporate purposes, as other activities practiced at home (free internet surfing and others) can endanger company data;
  • Using Remote Access Software That Monitors Potential Threats – Many modern remote access tools are constantly improving in this direction, so besides a secure VPN, make sure your software has this protective feature.

Remote access service software also integrates security codes. Before trusting them, ensure that your network, files, and data are protected.

Centralized File and Information Storage System – Why Does It Help with Remote Work?

In addition to installing a VPN network, more and more organizations are taking advantage of centralized file storage. A centralized system allows for storage and access to a database that can be shared between several devices in a network.

When active, the VPN network can provide a high level of protection when accessing the centralized system from any device. When all data is in one place, it also ensures a high level of productivity. Work time is significantly reduced, and the risk of data loss along the way is minimized thanks to the active VPN network, which is increasingly being utilized by small, medium, and large companies today.