How to Securely Access Corporate Resources Remotely

by GOsafeonline | 17 March 2014

The provision of remote access services to employees and business partners to access corporate applications and resources is becoming more prevalent. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an essential network protection component for secured remote access. Although VPN ensures the privacy of data transmission across the public Internet, the use of Two Factor Authentication (2FA) aids in strengthening the authenticating of users to restrict only authorised users to access the organisation's assets. 

Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows an organisation to extend its corporate network beyond its office premise, through the use of public networks like the Internet, to permit access to corporate resources. As such, the VPN with connections across multiple geographical locations could be considered a Wide Area Network (WAN), as it covers a broad area. With VPN, users connected to the private network will be able to send and receive data across public or shared networks, the security and management policies of the private network that they are connected to will also be applied. To verify the remote access, VPN connections typically require the user to be authenticated using passwords, biometrics or 2FA.


How to Securely Access Corporate Resources Remotely

Increased Flexibility Allow employees to work remotely for greater flexibility in working practices and greater mobility.
To Meet the Rising Use of Unmanaged Devices for Remote Access There is a rising trend for employees to access corporate information from diverse locations such as home, hotels, airport kiosks and while travelling outside the office, often through unmanaged devices such as smart phones and tablets which organisations has little control of. VPN with 2FA helps organisations to support access anytime and anywhere to prevent unauthorised access.
Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery In the event of unforeseen circumstances (e.g. transport system failure, strikes) VPN with 2FA enables users to securely access the company’s network to communicate and collaborate, work as usual and maintain productivity.

Benefits of 2FA

There has been a surge in both the uptake and development of 2FA over the years to improve organisational authentication method and increase security protection. So what are the benefits of using 2FA?

Improved Security While passwords are easy to create and use, it can be easily lost, forgotten, stolen and prone to misuse. Many people use familiar details that can either be guessed or found out, write their passwords down or store in desktop files for easy access by users, which potentially expose the organisation’s resources to unauthorised personnel. Using 2FA, even when someone does guess or find out a person’s password, he/she will not be able to provide the matching second factor such as a security taken code or finger print. Without the matching second factor, any potential intruder will be denied access.
Reduced Data Theft 2FA guards against illegal access to a network or organisational information which often leads to theft of valuable data. Organisations losing valuable data often result in loss of credibility and business and having to go through legal actions to redress the losses.
Improved Productivity By having ready access to secured network resources, employees can respond faster to business demands anywhere and anytime, work flexible hours according to family circumstances or work preferences as well as save on travel time and cost. Overall, working remotely leads to increased morale and improved productivity.

Do I need 2FA?

2FA is about striking the balance between security and productivity, thus, it is important to weigh the risk of information being accessed and the potential fall-out due to unauthorised use. Go through the following questionnaire to determine if your organisation should implement 2FA. If your answer is “YES” to all the questions, it’s time to invest in a 2FA solution with remote access.