Importance of Network Security While Accessing Files Remotely

Posted by Doing Better Business on Jul 27, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Employees in businesses of all types and sizes are undergoing a major shift in how work gets done. Internet access to business applications and file sharing technology has made collaboration between coworkers, management, clients, and customers more feasible than ever before.

Even support and service teams can now access remote computers to trouble-shoot computer and application problems without the need to be in the same office, city, state, or even the same country.

Of course, with that capability and convenience comes risk. Sending data and sharing files over a network can create new vulnerabilities to business information and digital assets. Cyberthieves and hackers can easily penetrate many types of defenses and eavesdrop on unprotected networks.

Fortunately, there are several precautions businesses and workers can take to ensure security while accessing files remotely.

Accessing and Sharing Your Own Files Remotely

When working remotely, perhaps at a customer or client site, there can be times when it would be beneficial to access files on your home computer. This is easy to accomplish:

With a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device installed on your home network, follow the vendor’s documentation for setting up integrated internet support. With this support configured, it’s possible to easily retrieve and update files on your NAS over the internet.

You can configure your router to permit access to NAS data, facilitating access and sharing by others.

Business Applications and Remote File Access

Businesses also benefit greatly from the capability to access and share files remotely. Coworkers can collaborate through sharing contracts, project documents, and product quotes easily and quickly. Remote access to important information brings several advantages:

  • Ease of support for remote workers
  • Better customer service
  • Multiple team members can review and contribute to document content in real-time


Network engineers can establish remote access to network drives and servers using a variety of collaboration tools. These tools provide ease of access but must be configured properly to avoid access by unauthorized parties.

Importance of Network Security

Document management systems contribute to the security and control of sensitive documents in several ways:

Software functionality manages who can create, edit, copy, view, and delete documents. You can tailor this for individuals, teams, and types of document. The cloud-based sharing of files provides ease of access, controlled by designated policies and the configuration of the document management system.

Vulnerabilities arise when you don’t adequately protect network assets from unauthorized access or when files are accessed on unsecured networks such as public WiFi or unknown networks.

Why Network Security is Important

Unauthorized access to messages or files can create significant problems for business:

  • Disclosure of company secrets
  • Hacker access to personally identifiable information (PII) of employees
  • Failure to comply with regulatory requirements such as HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Exposure to malware, viruses, and ransomware

Providing Security While Accessing Files Remotely

There are several ways to provide security for all parties when accessing files remotely:

Utilize VPN Services

Virtual Private Network (VPN) services include client software running on your remote and/or home computer that encrypts all traffic sent or received when the VPN is utilized. This allows the use of public WiFi such as in an airport or coffee shop without the risk of cyber thieves eavesdropping on session traffic to capture files, information, user names, or passwords.

Use Cloud Storage

Cloud storage services offer secure, encrypted storage of all file types. Your business or teams have control over who can access, create, or remove files, ensuring document security.

Cloud document management services take this to the next level, incorporating tools such as workflow that not only allows secure access to files but automatically routes documents and files to the individuals who need them.

Check All Configurations and Settings

For both NAS storage and cloud storage, ensure that you properly set all applicable options to provide the desired level of security. You can designate some files or folders as “public”, allowing any user with a link to the data to access it. This should be used very sparingly, and only with a full understanding of the permissions being granted.

Home routers should never retain their factory settings for administrator user name and default passwords. Hackers are very aware of the default settings used by leading manufacturers and will try to access a network with those credentials first.

Utilizing strong passwords is a key defense against cybercrime. Hackers utilize program methodology to try guessing passwords repeatedly. Simple passwords can be compromised much more easily.

Keep Your Defenses Updated

Utilizing malware and antivirus software is a must for computer users who must access files remotely. Keeping the software updated with the latest database patterns is critical to maintaining the best level of security.

Train Users

All email and application users must understand the risks of opening files that are received by email, especially by unknown or unexpected sources.

Implementing document management and cloud-based file storage for sharing files remotely is more reliable and secure than other methods such as email. File sharing in the cloud should be the standard for accessing files over a network among business teams.

Accessing and Sharing Files Remotely – and Securely

Doing Better Business (DBB) works with our business clients to provide complete solutions for document management, automated workflow, and secure file sharing.

Contact DBB today to implement secure file access for remote work teams.

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