With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic comes a need to adapt to the new normal, and this includes setting up a remote workforce to allow businesses to continue operations.
What Is a Remote Workforce?
A remote workforce is a flexible work arrangement that allows employees within an organization to perform their tasks and responsibilities outside a traditional office space. This kind of work setup, which commonly refers to a work-from-home (WFH) setup, has become increasingly popular because of the COVID-19 pandemic that restricted outside activities due to health and safety reasons.
Through this work arrangement, employees experience advantages, including less time on the road, reduced costs and better work-life balance. In return, companies have also benefited with increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction and cost saving in office resources.
As time progresses and as every country slowly recovers from the pandemic, there are some companies that are reverting back to the traditional office setup, while others have embraced the concept of the remote workforce and all the benefits it provides.
Concept of Remote Work for Modern Businesses
In order to have a successful remote workforce, a company must have a good
combination of technology, work processes and corporate ethos that are tailored to spur the
overall performance of their employees despite working outside the office. Since work from
home has just recently entered popular conversation, there are still ongoing discussions
on what are the components that make a successful work-from-home arrangement. These include:
Strong and stable Internet connection - Working from home requires fast Internet connection that allows every team member to communicate effectively and share their files and other work outputs harmoniously.
Tools and other software - Despite working in different locations, companies
and employees must utilize software and other technological tools that can serve as a
platform for communication, file sharing, remote desktops, and other business and work transactions.
Organizational ethos - For a WFH setup to succeed, it should be a two way-street. The company should trust their employees that they are doing their tasks despite their location and the absence of someone who will supervise them physically. They must also provide the necessary working tools for their employees. On the other hand, employees should ensure their company that they are performing their responsibility and can manage to deliver excellent and quality performance even if they are working remotely.
What Technology Is Needed for a Remote Workforce?
Technology is the bloodline that makes a remote workforce successful and
productive. These technological tools must be available to aid those employees who are
working outside so that they can perform their tasks as if they are still inside their office.
Examples of these technologies are:
Video Calling - Face-to- face meetings, one-on-one discussions and group conferences are some of the fundamental things that a traditional office set-up can provide. With a WFH setup, these physical gatherings are replaced with virtual meetings via platforms that allow video meetings and conferences to continue despite disparities in location and distances.
Instant Messaging - Employees can take their time drafting tedious messages through emails, but with the help of instant and easy-to-navigate messaging tools and apps, communication with your co-workers is a walk in the park. These tools allow direct messages and group chats where information is relayed immediately.
Project Management Platform - Consolidating your company’s projects or daily tasks in one management platform allows employees to have a single place where they can see and check the progress of each project and the specific tasks that they needed to do. This platform saves time by reducing the need to message and conduct video meetings.
What Are the Risks of Remote Work?
Remote work has provided benefits and advantageous situations to both companies and employees, but it also has some disadvantages and risks. Some of these risks are:
Employee Management - There are managers who are not used to supervising employees remotely. These managers are worried that they won’t be able to prod their employees to work and perform their tasks. They also face new challenges such as making new employees feel like they belong, or how to better communicate with all employees on a professional and personal level.
Data Privacy - Since employees are working remotely, accessing the company’s data might put them in peril since they are using personal devices and the public Internet. That is why there is a need to secure and protect these devices in order also to protect the private and sensitive data of their company. This kind of remote problem can be solved by using encryption and other protection tools that can safeguard data on public networks and hackers.
Phishing - Another risk of having a remote workforce is the susceptibility to phishing. Due to precarious internet connection and unsafe devices, hackers can pretend to be a trusted employee or part of the company who will send email or any form of messages that contain malicious links to other employees. These links once clicked can lead to installation of malware
How Yubikey Protects Employees from Phishing and Beyond
Enable MFA for identity access management (IAM) systems and identity providers (IdPs)
The Yubikey 5 Series and FIPS- validated Yubikey Series is an easy-to-use, durable and multi-function solution that employees can use across multiple and different devices, operating systems and locations. It enables multi-factor authentication (MFA) that allows employees to work without the struggles of remembering multiple usernames and passwords.
Secure VPN Access with MFA
Yubikey can be configured with leading VPNs such as Pulse Secure and Cisco AnyConnect as a smartcard (PIV) for remote access. There are also other VPNs that offer native support for Yubikeys to use one-time password (OTP) capabilities.
MFA for Computer Login
Yubikey can be used to secure computer login whether you are using a Mac or a Windows system. This is due to the smartcard functionality of Yubikey and the key in addition to a PIN to lock down access to a computer. Yubico has been working recently with Microsoft to enable native Yubikey support in Microsoft Azure Active Directory for a FIDO-based passwordless login experience.
Step Up Authentication for Password Managers
Yubikey can be integrated with several enterprise-grade password managers, including 1Password, Dashlane, Keeper Security and LastPass. This will enable employers to have a simple and safe way in creating, storing and managing passwords. It will also remove the old-age practice where employees manage their passwords by writing it down on sticky notes or using human memory that sometimes can’t be reliable.
Use a YubiKey to Generate One-time Time-based Passcodes
Yubikey allows users to generate the OTP codes within the app by inserting or tapping the Yubikey to a device instead of the one-time passcodes that are being stored within a mobile device or a computer. This authenticator is compatible with iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
The WFH setup is now the new normal. With its myriad of benefits, there are some companies and employees who are considering this to become their permanent work arrangement. Yet like many other things, it also comes with disadvantages and perils. One prominent example is the invasion of a company’s private data. The severity of this problem has increased due to the large numbers of employees who are using unsecured devices and public internet connection. But like every problem, there always comes a solution. And that’s where Yubico and Yubikeys come to the rescue.
Giving the employees the chance to experience work remotely or from home should not be hampered nor affected by unforeseen risks such as phishing and other hacking practices. That is why Yubico guarantees both the company and its employees that they are protected through their trusted digital securities that include Security Key NFC, YubiKey 5 NFC, YubiKey 5Ci, YubiKey 5C NFC, YubiKey 5 Nano, and YubiKey Bio.
Want to avail Yubico products? Contact +63 2 8858 5555 today!