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Remote Access VPN Best Practices

Remote Access VPN Best Practices for credit unions ongoing operations

Allowing your employees to work from home has never been more important.
With the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, one of the key strategies for US Based business and credit unions is to allow employees to work remotely. But, what if you have never been in favor of this policy or haven’t practiced it in a while? Here is what you need to know regarding remote access VPN best practices.

Non-Technical

  1. Set defined working hours - just like normal
  2. Make sure you have a couple of 15 minute check-ins a day with key metrics. A daily huddle is always a good process but even more so when everyone is working remotely on VPN.
  3. Insist on video for all users
  4. Make sure employees check behind them and have a key place at home that is clean and clutter free
  5. Leverage Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc. to have persistent chat messages and information that is available for everyone
  6. Offer a home office reimbursement that covers all or a portion of the home internet charge - try to avoid employees cheeping out and buying lousy internet
  7. Send your employees some dog treats to keep Fido quiet during a key client calls
  8. Dress for work like normal even when sitting at your desk
  9. Making sure how and when to use the mute button is essential
  10. Don’t forget bio breaks and make sure people eat away from their computer
  11. Give employees time to get up and walk around

Technical

  1. Provide your employee with a laptop that has the processing capability you need. Include a VOIP client and make sure your employee can VPN from home.
  2. Determine if you want split-tunneling – do you want your home users to leverage the credit union platform for streaming music etc. (poor performance) or if you want total security.
  3. Conduct a security review of what your Remote Access VPN has access to and what it should or shouldn’t.
  4. Are your business applications installed on remote worker computers? (if not, if they have any device they can remotely run off of their work computer) – consider allowing remote users to remotely access their workstations.
  5. Validate your licensing for active users
  6. If possible, use and leverage multi factor communication tools for additional security

While each of us certainly hopes that coronavirus won't become a major health event in our part of the world, the reality is that businesses are responsible for having a contingency plan and avoiding serious disruption of their operations.

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