9.5 Remote Worker Requirements

More people than ever are working away from the office.  The modern employee expects the ability to perform her entire list of job duties from anywhere.  As an employer, it’s a competitive advantage in your market for acquiring business and top talent.  As with any new technology it comes with some risks.  You must account for the security requirements first and foremost.  Secondly, you need to evaluate the required level of performance.  If your remote access system isn’t secure it can wreck the company.  If it doesn’t perform well no one will use it.  So here are the Top 9.5 considerations when building your Remote Worker infrastructure.  

Remote Worker Setup Checklist:  

  • Business Class Firewall:  You must have a firewall that’s capable of proper encryption, but it’s even better if it’s linked to a service that provides new threat definitions.
  • Office Bandwidth:  Your chances for success are greatly increased with adequate bandwidth.  Remember, you must have a good upload speed to serve information to your remote users.  A company of 30 people with standard data usage should look for a minimum of 50 M up and down.
    • Remote Bandwidth:  Don’t forget that your bandwidth at the office only matters when your remote users have adequate bandwidth as well.  They should look for no less than 10 M up and down to have a successful remote experience.   
  • Static IP addresses:  You’ll need static IP addresses for your remotely accessible systems.  It’s just a cost of doing business.
  • Terminal Server:  If you have any sort of database system or high-process oriented software application you’ll want to run it through a terminal server.  Everyone will thank you later.
  • VPN clients:  This is a good way to make sure your home users have all traffic encrypted.  The best solution uses a VPN tunnel to connect to terminal server.
  • Domain structure for permissions and authentication:  this is non-negotiable.  You must have a good system for authentication and security permissions.  You’re creating a major risk if you don’t have this piece in place.
  • Redundant circuit:  If you’re going to put your company production on the line then you better have a contingency plan.  All circuits go down from time to time so you need to be prepared.  Just get something that has about 20% of the bandwidth so you can limp along until the primary circuit is restored.  Automatic failover is a bonus.
  • Control over remote machines:  Don’t let people VPN into your network directly unless you can control the remote machines.  80% of viruses and malware are launched internally.  
  • Simple Domain Name for easy access:  Setup a simple access website like www.mycompany.com/remote to give your people an easier to remember login method.  This allows them to login from any machine regardless of location or software.

You can probably imagine that this list provides a basic framework, but the devil is always in the details.  Contact Leverage for a comprehensive guide on setting up your remote users here:  http://iwantleverage.com/contact/

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