The benefits of remote team members are undeniable. But, with 1 in 5 companies experiencing a security breach involving a remote worker, protecting your business against all potential issues is essential.
Let’s go over six common remote access protocols that can help you protect your small business.
1. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a type of protocol that allows your IT team to access other employee’s devices. It was created by Microsoft and is suitable for Windows devices, but it also works on Mac OS.
With that said, it’s important to keep RDP updated to protect it against new vulnerabilities.
2. Windows Remote Access Service (RAS)
Another protocol created by Microsoft, Remote Access Service (RAS) is ideal for teams that need to share a lot of resources over relatively small networks.
RAS supports a large number of remote users without compromising speed, regardless of whether they’re linked through dial-up or WAN connections.
Your IT team will need to handle the setting up of RAS as it’s a complex task. So, ensure your technicians are familiar with Windows Server environments or get help from an external provider if necessary.
3. Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) allows your IT technicians to connect to TCP/IP safely. In other words, it opens up a link between the internet and your network.
This is due to the protocol’s superb authentication abilities and its support of multilink connections, which makes it one of the most common alternatives for small business owners.
While not the oldest on this list, it’s important to note that PPP is considered a bit dated compared to newer protocols built on the same principle.
4. Point-to-Point Protocol Over Ethernet (PPPoE)
Similar to PPP, Point-to-Point Protocol Over Ethernet (PPPoE) provides similar benefits but over safer ethernet connections.
Not only this, but this protocol also allows for data encryption and compression, which results in a faster, ultra-safe network.
While PPPoE doesn’t have native encryption, it works extremely well with technologies that allow for this.
5. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) was also built on PPP, but it was developed by remote access giant Microsoft.
PPTP uses a combination of PPP and internet protocols to establish virtual connections across multiple points in your network.
Note that PPTP was created for practicality and ease of use, but it’s not always recommended for companies that handle sensitive information.
6. Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)
Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) is a UNIX protocol that dates back to the 1980s, but it’s still widely used today — and for good reason.
SLIP only allows internet protocol links over serial connections and has lower overheads than other protocols on this list.
Plus, IBM has a comprehensive guide that will help your IT team activate, troubleshoot, and take down the protocol when necessary.
Remote Access Ideal Practices to Help Protect Your Company
The cost of a cybersecurity breach has skyrocketed to more than $3.3 million, small companies can’t run any risks and, therefore, need to create a dynamic cybersecurity system.
Create a Clear Remote Access Policy
First off, you should take the time to create a remote access policy that details everything that your team should know.
Also, consider including requirements like:
- Multi-factor authentication: your employees should use a company device to set up multi-factor authentication to access your network.
- Password change frequency: ask your team members to change their password frequently and set up a system notification in order to alert them.
- Security training: Provide a mandatory training session and share remote work as well as general cybersecurity best practices with your team.
Ask Your Team to Use a VPN
In addition to having a strong remote access policy, you should also purchase a company-wide virtual private network (VPN) and give your employees access to this tool.
In short, VPNs encrypt your team’s connection, so the data being transmitted to and from each employee’s device cannot be decoded.
Make sure to choose a reliable provider like Surfshark VPN, as they will also have robust solutions suitable for your company as it grows.
Keep Your Company Software Updated
From your servers to your team members’ smartphones, you need to keep all of your company software up to date.
Most operating systems and other software are not perfect when released, so it’s necessary to download new versions, patches, and other elements in order to protect all remote access points in your company.
If not, you run the risk of giving cybercriminals an easy way to access your account.
Remote access protocols are essential because they help your team members utilize resources safely. That said, it’s essential to choose a protocol that guarantees a high level of security.