Business is in the midst of a mobile revolution, a far-reaching shift in work patterns that is quickly making the traditional nine-to-five, 40-hour workweek an artifact of a simpler age. Employees are no longer doing all, or even most, of their work in the office.
But like most revolutions, the mobile revolution is messy. Your employees are connecting remotely to file servers packed with critical data via laptops and other devices using connections that may or may not be secure. IT departments should not have to be in the position of saying no, in the interest of security, to practices that enhance productivity. They must be able to enforce security policies and ensure that laptops and other remote endpoints are properly protected with up-to-date security measures and malware defenses. And don’t forget about backups; you may someday need to recover data created on remote machines.
That may sound like a tall order, but with the right tools it’s something you can achieve. Symantec Endpoint Protection and Backup Exec let your staff secure file servers against attacks and protect data, which in turn allows your business to embrace the profit-enhancing gains of the mobile workforce without putting the company at undue risk.
It’s only a small exaggeration to say that your file servers are the crown jewels of your business. They contain data that must be protected against malware, unauthorized access, or incidents that might corrupt or erase it.
Protecting PCs that are sitting in cubicles on the premises is difficult enough, but it is a bit like trying to herd cats when you have to secure and protect file servers with no way of knowing which systems might connect to it, where they are connecting from, or what sort of security measures exist on the remote endpoints.
Complicating matters further, on-the-go workers present a greater risk. By connecting to company email and network resources from coffee shops and other public Wi-Fi hotspots, users may inadvertently expose or compromise sensitive data. Migrating from one network to another—across geographic locations—also increases the opportunity for malware or other attacks to sneak into the network when remote endpoints are connected.
These attacks often seek out networked servers and systems to infect. A compromised PC connected over VPN to your file server could provide a direct pipeline enabling the malware to spread and infect your data—spreading the threat to other systems that subsequently connect to the file server.
Protecting Your File Servers
When your users are connecting from remote endpoints that could be anywhere, at any time of day or night, you need a solid security solution in place to protect the servers they’re connecting to. Symantec Endpoint Protection and Backup Exec are solutions designed to do just that for a small business.
Symantec Endpoint Protection provides comprehensive security for your endpoint and servers. It includes advanced antivirus and antispyware defense, personal firewall protection, and host intrusion prevention to block both existing and unknown threats. The protection can be configured to update automatically and transparently, working around the clock to keep your file servers protected and equipped with the latest software updates and patches.
Symantec Insight, a feature of Endpoint Protection, detects new and unknown threats that other approaches miss by correlating tens of billions of linkages between users, files, and websites to identify rapidly mutating threats that may only exist on a few systems. SONAR 3, another feature in Symantec Endpoint Protection, monitors activity on the host system to detect and block suspicious or malicious activity in running programs.
Symantec Backup Exec provides similar peace of mind about your crucial data. You can configure automatic backups to kick in on a set schedule, or you can rely on continuous data protection to back up data as it changes. If a remote endpoint inadvertently deletes or accidentally corrupts data on the file server, you can rest assured that you will be able to restore that data to its former glory.
It’s a New Year for everyone, bad guys as well as good guys. So make at least two resolutions this year. Be bold when it comes to embracing the mobile revolution. Don’t be afraid to knock down the walls and free your workers to join the distributed workforce. And then resolve to stay secure as well. Make sure you have tools in place—like Symantec Endpoint Protection and Backup Exec—that allow you to secure your file servers and protect the valuable company data they contain.
This story, "Embrace the Mobile Revolution in 2012" was originally published by BrandPost.