Secure remote work starts at home
The endpoints in every remote employee’s home can leave your business’s data exposed. So, what can you do about it? There are solutions.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the business world has accelerated its adoption of—and its adaption to—working from home. And that means the genie’s out of the bottle when it comes to remote work. In fact, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, while 82% of Canadian employees did their jobs at an external workplace before the pandemic, that’s since dropped to just 59%. They also found that 40% of employees believe their productivity has stayed the same during this time while 35% believe it’s actually increased. Combined with the fact that, according to Statistics Canada, four in ten Canadian workers’ jobs can be done from home, it’s clear that a significant degree of remote work is here to stay.
As such, in addition to finding what solutions will best serve the day-to-day needs of their remote workforces, businesses need to find new ways of securing their IT infrastructure, protecting their data and managing the multitude of different devices connecting to their networks from practically anywhere.
End the battle for bandwidth
When an employee works from home, they may be video conferencing while their spouse is leading a webinar and their kids are playing online video games. That means they’re competing for bandwidth against their own personal internet services, and this at-home network congestion translates to unreliable connectivity and lowered productivity (not to mention some domestic unrest because everyone wishes their internet was better).
So how can an employer help? Simply put: by providing each employee with an at-home internet connection that’s separate from their residential connection and used solely for work. This may sound easier said than done—and even too good to be true—but it is possible, and it’s easily deployed. But before delving into those details, it’s important to stress that this solution helps maximize work-from-home productivity. Safeguarding your organization’s IT assets and data is another issue.
Making remote work worry-free
While providing employees with their own at-home dedicated internet connections helps ensure they get the bandwidth they need to do their jobs, security and support are also concerns that still need to be addressed. If an employee is permitted to access the corporate network via the internet without properly securing their own devices, the business is still vulnerable. How are you supposed to secure them? And how do you manage the many different device types with different operating systems and different approaches to software updates?
Fortunately, you can overcome these challenges. Instead of relying on software pushed to every corporate device, you can deploy home teleworker gateway devices to each remote employee. These devices are cloud managed, so they are always updated with the latest, most secure software available. This solution effectively turns part of an employee’s home Wi-Fi into an extension of the company LAN. It also provides employers the ability prioritize different types of traffic, such as VoIP or remote desktop access, to help ensure the applications employees depend on the most perform the best.
Furthermore, for employees that serve an especially crucial function, there’s even the option of providing them with teleworker gateways that have a built-in LTE backup internet connection that would temporarily take over should anything happen to their primary connection.
Where to find these solutions
It’s likely you haven’t heard about these solutions before, and that’s because they aren’t common. Although the pandemic has pushed businesses to accelerate their adoption of remote work services, that doesn’t mean solution providers have managed to address every emerging new need, especially in terms maximizing workforce productivity and ensuring the security and reliability of the endpoints found in employees’ residences.
Rogers offers two such solutions. Business Internet at Home* provides every employee of the employer’s choosing with a work-dedicated internet connection that’s separate from their residential connection, and it’s delivered via a special plug-and-play modem that’s simply dropped off at the employee’s home (no contact required).
The other solution, Secure Remote Worker, is similarly delivered via a self-configuring, self-optimizing device that securely connects the employee to their employer’s network via a cloud-based VPN. There’s no need for the employee to log in through a separate application, different traffic types can be prioritized at the discretion of the employer, and an LTE backup connection is available as an add-on.
When combined, these two solutions are ideal for maximizing productivity and guarding security on a front—employees’ homes—that has historically been overlooked. And, historically, there’s never been a more important time to do something about it.
Learn more about Business Internet at Home and Secure Remote Worker here.
*Only available in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.