Why your company needs a VPN usage policy to keep remote workers secure

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Establishing a policy around VPN use can ensure that telecommuters keep company data and systems safe.

Businessmen running virtual private network .

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Advancements in technology and telecommuting capabilities have paved the way for a future of remote work. While the coronavirus pandemic has forced many companies to realize their telecommuting capabilities, remote work has already risen by 400% in the past decade, indicating a clear shift in that direction prior to the crisis. 

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

As more employees work outside the office, cybersecurity becomes a prominent concern, especially if users are working on public and personal networks. Some of the most common threats for remote workers include phishing attacks, distributed denial of service (DDoS), remote desktop account attacks, and Bluekeep exploits, reported TechRepublic's Tom Merritt. 

Unfortunately, many employees either aren't able to or fail to recognize these types of attacks, leaving them especially vulnerable and prone to falling for cyberattack strategies. The 2019 State of Cybersecurity Study from ISACA found that employees can be almost as dangerous to a business's security as hackers and cybercriminals. 

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To protect employees' network connections and data, many companies offer virtual private network (VPN) connections. VPNs are consistently one of the most recommended precautions for individuals telecommuting. 

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The importance of VPN

VPNs provide employees with secure access to an organization's internal network and data, from anywhere. The tool provides a secure tunnel between an individual's device and the service data center, encrypting the transmitted data. 

However, using a VPN to gain access to these resources also comes with a responsibility to the company, particularly to uphold security standards expected by the organization. Most companies establish acceptable use policies for services and hardware in the office, but these standards become necessary outside the office as more people transition to working elsewhere. 

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Outlining these standards for employees is critical to maintaining cybersecurity hygiene. To successfully execute a VPN, IT teams also need to be privy as to what is expected from the network. 

Building a VPN usage policy

A VPN usage policy can help define both of those components, however, knowing where to begin can be a challenge. 

TechRepublic Premium's VPN usage policy does the work for you.  The document "outlines the responsibilities of IT to deploy and secure virtual private networks in your organization, and it defines acceptable use policies for end users on corporate-issued and personal devices."

The policy also features clarification regarding subsidies for internet connectivity, as well as repercussions for violating the internet service provider's terms of service. 

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Defining violations and penalties is also critical to a policy, so employees understand what is and is not acceptable behavior on the system. The TechRepublic Premium VPN usage policy suggests violations, as well as penalties for not following the policy's guidelines.   

Download the VPN usage policy from TechRepublic Premium today to keep your organization's data and connection secure. 

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

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