If your company is primarily working from home during the global Coronavirus outbreak, you’re not alone. Since the virus struck in early 2020, more than 60% of Americans began working from home full-time.

There’s also a strong argument for increased remote work even after the virus is under control. Gallup reported that three in five U.S. workers want to continue working remotely as much as possible even after public health restrictions are lifted, and a Gartner survey of CFOs found that 74% of companies plan to shift at least 5% of their workforces to permanent remote positions after COVID-19 restrictions end.

Remote work has been linked to advantages like increased employee productivity, but it can be concerning for those tasked with keeping company data secure. When employees access sensitive files and applications from unsecure networks, hackers can penetrate company data and cause disastrous consequences.

The best way for employees to safely access company data is by leveraging a virtual private network (VPN).

VPNs allow users to retrieve resources from your company network without being physically connected to it. They also encrypt traffic between the computer and the VPN server, which helps improve network safety.

But how can you ensure your VPN is as secure as possible? Read on for three simple tips:

1. Use Strong Authentication Methods

At the very least, your VPN should require a password to access—but that’s often not enough to ensure hackers can’t crack your network. Consider utilizing multifactor authentication, such as smart cards in tandem with passwords or PINs.

For example, Computer World describes a setup where Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport Level Security (EAP-TLS) is used with smart cards. This level of authentication ensures that hackers can’t simply credential-stuff their way into your network.

2. Enforce Antivirus and Firewall Use

Everyone accessing your VPN should have up-to-date antivirus software installed on their devices. To help employees understand the importance of enabling antivirus and firewalls, provide the appropriate software and check in with employees to ensure it’s installed properly. Consider holding trainings to explain why and how to install this software.

3. Be Aware of Who Has Access

Trusted employees are the only people who should have access to your VPN. Contracted workers, past employees and temporary workers should only be given access when it’s absolutely necessary.

The best way to keep your VPN safe is by limiting who can access it.

Find a Managed Network Provider You Can Trust

Don’t leave your network’s health and security up to chance. Contact Vector Security Networks to learn about our enterprise network solutions—and how we can customize them to suit your needs.