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REMOTE WORK & THE TECHNOLOGY THAT ENABLES IT

VPN Technology is an essential technology for securing your internal business resources and allows for extending your companies network to the homes of your employees. With the correct encryption setup and access policies in place VPNs enable employees to continue their work securely from anywhere by providing a secure path for accessing the company network to perform mandated tasks. Let’s briefly explore some VPN terminology and then discuss how Alpha can help your organization get setup with VPN technology.

WHAT IS REMOTE ACCESS?

Remote access provides users with access to resources on the corporate network from their home or aux location. The function of remote access is to enable employees who are traveling, telecommuting, or working from home to connect to the company network and access resources such as applications, intranet, data, and monitoring tools.

How companies provide remote access to employees:

The primary method of providing remote access is via a VPN connection. Normally, a user has no expectation of privacy on a public network, as their network traffic is viewable by system administrators. VPNs create a “tunnel” that moves traffic privately between the remote network and the user. The tunnel protects the traffic and keeps it safe from interception or tampering.

WHAT IS A VPN?

A virtual private network allows you to safely connect to your work network over the internet by encrypting the connection between your companies firewall/server to your issued laptop. It’s the best way to connect to your company’s network without being in the office. A VPN allows your device to become an extension of the network as if you’re in the office with the same security and connectivity benefits.

HOW DOES A VPN WORK?

With a VPN, data travels the internet through a secure tunneling protocol, where it’s encrypted to stop your ISP or snoopers from reading your data as it travels. The two most common protocols used for encryption are:

• Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
• Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)

Encryption scrambles the contents of your information making it unreadable and can only be decrypted using a key. The tunneling protocol encapsulates the data with routing information for the receiving end device. Once received, the remote access connection is subject to an authentication, authorization, and accounting firewall/server which authenticates the user and authorizes access while accounting for all online activity for the duration of the connection.

WHAT IS A REMOTE ACCESS VPN?

A remote access VPN enables users who are working remotely to securely access and use applications and data that is inside the corporate network, encrypting all traffic between the two locations for security.

BENEFITS OF USING A VPN:

Security - Instead of going through a public line, employees rely on a private network that creates a secure tunnel for accessing data.
Visibility - With the right VPN setup, you can visualize network traffic, applications, ports and protocols that a user or device is accessing.
Access Control - Policies that stipulate what a remote worker can and cannot access on your internal network. Encryption – Ensures data traffic within your company’s network remains secure.
Encryption – Ensures data traffic within your company’s network remains secure.

HOW ALPHA TECHNOLOGIES CAN HELP YOU SECURELY POWER YOUR REMOTE WORKFORCE:
 
VPN hardware and software with expert configuration:

Allowing employees to work remotely requires the ability to access company data and software resources at the main office or typically where your data resides. This requires the right hardware/software to enable a secure remote workforce, support business continuity, and protect your network. A VPN connection is the way to enable your remote workforce while also effectively securing it. Today’s security landscape shows that enterprises are up against relentless phishing, malware, and social engineering campaigns that run rampant among remote workers. The ease of the ability for these campaigns to be successful make your employees as dangerous to a business’s security as hackers and cybercriminals. Setting clear company policies on what can and cannot access your internal network with a VPN will minimize your threat landscape significantly when coupled with the right access policies.

SASE, SaaS, and Colocation:

When it comes to the security for a remote workforce, you need to take a highly organized and strategic approach to prevent data breaches. To do that, you must utilize different solutions to enable and secure your remote workforce. This is where cloud solutions, like Microsoft hosted email, cloud computing, and company software hosted in an off-site collocated location, can help.

Introducing, Secure Access Service Edge. This replaces your mix of VPNs and point products with a combination of networking and security provided as a service from the cloud. Using SASE, an organization doesn’t have to maintain a separate VPN. Rather, users connect to a SASE solution (which provides access to the cloud and collocated services in a data center) with consistent security.

When you move or collocate your applications and software to the cloud, users don’t need to connect as often to the remote access VPN. They just simply open a web browser and log in to your company’s application with their username and password.

Depending on the needs of your business, a range of tools and apps may be appropriate setting up your business for remote work. If setting up a remote team for the first time, give us a call to let Alpha Technologies craft the right technology solution (vpn, cloud computing, colocation, videoconferencing, messaging, and document storage) for your business.

We would like to thank our clients, our partners at CISA, and everyone else for joining us in our Cybersecurity Awareness Month campaign "See Yourself in Cyber."  With the number of cyber-attacks exponentially increasing, it is important to remember that strengthening your defenses when going online is not only highly advised, but a necessity.  We hope that you have learned some helpful tips and tricks to utilize to better protect yourself and others when using the Internet.  If you are interested in better defending yourself in a cyber landscape, be sure to contact us at Alpha Technologies for a free security assessment.  Remember, keeping a healthy and hygienic online presence starts with you!

              UNLOCK YOUR GROWTH POTENTIAL WITH ALPHA 
                  TECHNOLOGIES CLOUD SERVICES
 

The cloud has become the number one IT priority since 2021 for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. When they do subscribe to cloud services, on average, companies say they save 31 percent using the cloud compared to running infrastructure on-site themselves. Regularly procuring, testing, deploying, and managing on-site equipment yourself puts you at a disadvantage—especially if your competitors have cloud-flexible capabilities. With real business issues such as aging infrastructure, remote workers, business continuity, and limited IT resources, there is a clear ROI for the move to the cloud. The most important question is no longer if you should move your datacenter, but when. Grab the documents below to learn how to get your company and workforce remote ready with Alpha Technologies Cloud Solutions.

GARTNER REPORT: THE FUTURE OF
WORK

The way we have adapted to working during the pandemic has shattered antiquated assumptions about work design. Executive leaders now have a unique opportunity to break from a location-centric model of work designed around industrial-era constraints, and to redesign work around a human-centric model to secure digital-era talent and deliver business outcomes.  To get prepared for a remote work model you must dispel the myths your organization may have about it.  The Gartner covers the benefits.  Grab the report here! 

     WORK FROM HOME
     SETUP ESSENTIALS

For employees to be successful and dedicated with a work from home schedule, your staff will require more than just a company issued laptop.  Here's 12 recommendations to keep in mind for setting up a home office.   


                   THE KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS 
                                   OF REMOTE WORK


KPI's are measures of your company's efforts to his defined goals.  Productivity related KPIs are those that speak to the efficiency of your team and the effectiveness of the processes, systems, and tools used to deliver results.  Hit the link below to grab the 5 KPI's to boost your team's work from home productivity.

CHECKLIST FOR
REMOTE WORK
EVALUATION
Most enterprise incident response (IR) plans were developed and put in place before the pandemic and shift in work models. They were designed for a world in which incident responders did their work on site. With more security practitioners working remotely, procedures, tools and techniques that worked well on premises no longer cut it. A new approach is needed.  Hit the link below to get started on assessing your remote work incident response policy.


JACOB HARRAH

Explain your position with Alpha Technologies: I aid customers who experience technical problems. It is a great opportunity to learn and grow my skills.

What is your work/education history prior to Alpha Technologie? My education background is networking, computer, and information security. Some IT and mostly customer service.

How do you spend your free time? Any hobbies or special interests you want to share: I like to workout, read fantasy novels, and go to the range.


MARK FISHER

Explain your position with Alpha Technologies: I am a Level 1 tech at the helpdesk. I enjoy working in IT and feel that I can learn and grow more with Alpha.

What is your work/education history prior to Alpha Technologies: I previously worked for another helpdesk and had achieved an A+ certification.

Do you have any family members or pets you would like to brag about: My do is pretty cool. He has this instinctual hatred of birds. He’s always trying to catch them but can’t. He doesn’t give up though. I think that’s pretty motivating.

How do you spend your free time? Hobbies? Special Interests?: I spend most of my free time training in boxing and power lifting. I study video game design in my off time from training.

What is one thing about you that you have not shared yet, that others would find interesting: I won a national championship in boxing.


JIMMY SCHOOLCRAFT

Explain your position with Alpha Technologies: Senior Fata Center Engineer. I look forward to working for Alpha as it is a great opportunity to learn new things.

What is your work/education history prior to Alpha Technologies? I’ve been working in the industry for nearly 30 years.

Do you have any family members or pets you would like to brag about? My daughter got married in February and I was almost able to afford it.

How do you spend your free time? Hobbies? Special Interests? I spend most of my spare time hunting and fishing. I used to like football but the last couple of years have not been fun.

What is one thing about you that you have not shared yet, that others would find interesting? I was on attacked by an African Lion in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was a cub, but it still counts.