SRA: Securing Access From Non-Corporate Devices
If the CEO of a corporation gets a new tablet or smartphone, chances are one of the first things they will do is head over to IT and ask the department to get the new device onto the company network.
The ability to access a corporate network via a personal device is a luxury that affords the user many desirable conveniences, and is something most IT units are capable of providing. The question, however, should not be whether a device can be added to the network, but rather how can it be done safely?
The Danger of Allowing Foreign Devices onto a Virtual Network
Without proper Secure Remote Access (SRA), foreign devices present a bevy of security threats to networks, including malware incursions and virus infiltration. If these harmful infections plague a personal device that is granted access to a network, they will begin to affect the network itself, and pose dangers to the other machines operating within the shared environment.
Another potential problem with allowing employees (of any level) remote access to company networks via personal devices is the creation of exit points of corporate data. For example, confidential information never meant to leave the network may be saved on a smartphone or tablet, thus becoming exposed to all kinds of threats previously protected from by the company’s network.
How to Mitigate the Risks of Foreign Devices on a Virtual Network
While the security issues raised by foreign devices entering a corporate network are both very real and equally serious, they should not dissuade consumers from creating a virtual computing environment that accommodates personal machines; the potential to improve user experience is just too great.
Besides, the dangers inherent in allowing access to personal devices can be mitigated, if not eliminated outright, simply by taking the necessary protective measures.
The following steps should be taken to ensure a network can securely accommodate personal devices:
- Encrypt network data and applications
- Scan remote devices for security threats
- Enforce effective authentication measures before allowing access
- Establish the extent of remote access from user credentials
- Track user activity
- Establish policies regarding application use and data storage on remote devices
Taking these measures will allow an organization to accept foreign devices onto its network, without raising legitimate cause for concern.