For the last blog in our Work from Home series, we touch on a very sensitive matter. There is one thing that is on everyone’s mind when employees work remotely: Security. In the past, we have posted some helpful tips on keeping your personal internet safe. How do we protect the internet connection of employees working from home, and on the flip side the confidentiality and privacy of the company they are employed with? This question leaves a lot of employers scratching their heads, but luckily there are some easy ways to secure your, and your employees, IP networks.
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t!
By far one of the most popular security preferences, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that works like a cloak of invisibility – it protects your privacy online, and thus your internet connection. It’s fairly simple how a VPN works: It creates a cloak-like encryption for your data. Through this encrypted cloak, your online identity is protected as it hides your IP address, like being hidden in plain sight. An added bonus is that it allows you to use public Wi-Fi safely. For those days when your employees are working from a coffee shop, local library, or rental home, they will be able to work without any worries they are compromising work or risk exposing log-in credentials.
Home, Safe, Home
It is absolutely crucial to keep your home network secure. Think about the information you are entering like credit card numbers, bank accounts, and social security numbers. Even if you caught some fraudulent activities immediately, you will still have to deal with the headache that comes with changing passwords, closing cards, and contacting customer support to help you resolve the issues. This takes precious time away from you. It’s a pain to deal with when it is your personal information that gets hacked, but it feels worse when it happens to your employees while they work. Thankfully, routers these days are not only competitively priced but come with firewall features that you can – and should – enable. We also have a great video on how to configure Dynamic DNS in a router.
Drawbridges and Secret Passwords
Typically, companies have a central server that has a list of verified users that are allowed access, including remote employees. It doesn’t matter if your employees are working in the office five days a week, from the comfort of home, or only a few days in the office at a time, everyone enters the same login info. How do they do this? Companies can log all of the IP addresses that will need access to the server and therefore only accept connections from those trusted IPs. Furthermore, if your company has a dynamic IP and needs employees to connect from a remote location, and if the firewall supports a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), then you can use a DDNS hostname. When your company is running an update client, it will keep the hostname’s IP address up to date and the firewall will still give you access while it is blocking other IPs. Much like a medieval castle, the drawbridge does not allow people to pass through unless deemed worthy, but on a much more sophisticated level – as well as less manpower!
Here are some tips, tricks, and suggestions that our No-IP developers have to say about VPNs and keeping your network safe:
The creator and CEO of No-IP, Dan Durrer, shares, “I just have a generic LTTP IPsec tunnel, it’s kind of nice because it works with the built-in VPN client on iOS and mac OS. I configured it once on my Synology, and another currently is in my Ubiquiti Dream machine.”
Our VP of Platform and Chief Architect, David Jonas, says “Wireguard is the modern method for VPN. Lots of clients these days and tutorials. Very easy, secure, high-performance way to connect back to your home network.”
One of our Product Managers, Deven Reza, suggests OpenVPN as a VPN recommendation.
Stay on Defense
Although No-IP doesn’t have any fancy security products to go along with our various Dynamic DDNS and related products, there are so many easy and seamless ways to incorporate security measures that will keep your company’s IP network, as well as that of your employees, safe. These simple measures will help protect you from prying eyes and fraudulent activity on a consistent basis. Staying consistent and staying vigilant are best practices not just for your employees, but for your company as a whole. There is nothing wrong with working on the defense when it comes to your IP network security – If anything it is the safest and smartest way to go about it!