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Remote Employees and IT Security

February 2015
Dave Thomas has been providing sound IT consulting advice to SMBs for over 20 years. He is a certified Microsoft engineer and is dedicated to helping these same businesses weather the current storms with IT systems and data security.

Dave Thomas has been providing sound IT consulting advice to SMBs for over 20 years. He is a certified Microsoft engineer and is dedicated to helping these same businesses weather the current storms with IT systems and data security.

Q: What are some IT standard practices and procedures that we should implement when dealing with our field or remote employees?

A: Depending on the technology needs of your remote employees you should implement the following as standard security practices:
(a) You should have a plan in place where the technology in the field returns to the main corporate office on a regular basis for security and software updates; (b) Field computers should have local firewall software installed for browsing the Internet off-site (Windows firewall does not count!); (c) Limit or forbid use of public wireless networks (Use personal mobile hot-spots instead); (d) Eliminate and restrict actual data on the local computers (use remote application servers for running apps and storing data. Use the local computer as a “dumb-terminal”); (e) Make it policy that employees are using VPN (virtual private network) when accessing company servers and data remotely; and (f) If data must absolutely reside locally on the remote computers, use hard drive encryption built into the notebook’s base system or use third-party encryption software.

Q: Smartphones have become an increasingly large part of our field employee’s toolkit. What should I do to protect ourselves with regard to these computing devices?

A: (a) Make certain smartphones are owned by the company and used for the company business ONLY! (You cannot dictate IT policy on an employee’s personal phone); (b) Again, use local cellular data plan rather than public Wi-Fi access for accessing data and browsing the Internet for information; (c) Password protect and auto-lock your devices; (d) Use remote find and/or remote wipe capabilities of the smartphones if they are lost or stolen; and (e) Limit your use of document sharing/sync apps (Sugarsync, Box.net) and of course … iCloud! I95

Kenneally Technology Services
410-321-9558
www.jlktech.com

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