Work patterns for accessing data have changed over the years. In the past, employees would work from the office, and most of the data needed were housed right there. Today, many companies have their data and applications hosted outside of their office in a data center or cloud environment. Also, many people work from home or while traveling. In either case, securely connecting to your data is more of a challenge today than it was in the past. There are technologies for connecting and accessing data securely, and these technologies are constantly advancing. A knowledgeable Denver managed IT security services provider like Optimum Networking can help you sort this out.
Managed IT Security with VPN Technology
Most modern methods of connectivity incorporate a VPN technology. VPN is an acronym for “virtual private network.” A VPN is a technology that allows a user to connect to a system or network and have the data that is transferred and received, encrypted. VPN’s are typically used when accessing your data over the Internet or public networks. VPN’s encrypt data during transmission so that if the data stream were “tapped” into by an unauthorized person, the data would be scrambled to the point that it could not be reassembled. This protects the end user from unauthorized people reading or collecting your data. A VPN can be a part of a managed IT security service, however, encryption should only be considered as part of a secure VPN solution
Managed IT Security with Security Authentication
The second part of this communication is the authentication that is required to log into your remote resource. Many users rely on Active Directory credentials. This is your Microsoft username and password. There are several issues with just using your Microsoft credentials. First, some users don’t have a complex password which makes it easy to guess. Many users don’t change their password frequently which can mean that if the password gets compromised, a hacker can continue to use the username and password for a long period of time.
Managed IT Security with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
If your password is complex and changed often, the chances of being hacked are significantly reduced. However, the only thing stopping a hacker from logging in is still just a username and password. For significantly enhanced login security, multi-factor authentication should be implemented. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the notion that a user has multiple items necessary to be authorized to log in. This could be something that you know, and something that you have. Something that you know could be your username and password. Something that you have could be a unique token that is generated each time you log in and is displayed on a fob in your possession or on your smart phone. There are several technologies that issue these tokens or “certs.” Guessing your username, password, and a randomly generated token would be nearly impossible for a hacker.
Of course, multi-factor authentication has an added price, but the price outweighs the concerns and damage that can be done by an unauthorized user. A solid company policy for remote access should have several critical components. Encryption and multi-factor authentication are two components that are at the top of the list for today’s scary cyber-threat environment.
If you have any security questions or would like more information on how Optimum Networking, a Denver Managed IT Security Services Provider (MSP) can implement MFA for you, please contact us.
Security Awareness Training Program & Lunch and Learns
Optimum has a great security awareness training program and regularly scheduled lunch and learns with security as a focus. Contact us for a schedule and to register.
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)