Secure home office and remote working

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Hybrid working is the model of the future. Andrea Wörrlein, Managing Director of VNC in Berlin and Member of the Board of Directors of VNC AG, explains in a guest article the most important features of secure applications for the new workplace mix of presence work, home office and mobile work.

Office work is slowly coming back, but many employees are happy about the new freedom of working from home: Instead of daily traffic jams and office frustration, they can organize their own work environment better and more independently in the home office. This requires applications for communication and collaboration with colleagues, partners and customers that conform to your company’s security guidelines and compliance requirements. Appropriate policies that regulate the handling of critical data and information are usually in place, but the technical implementation is often lacking because the right apps are missing. VNC lists five important building blocks for this:

  1. Geo tagging: When authorizing access, geo-tagging automatically captures the location of the employee. Access to data is selectively released on the basis of this information. In this way, certain company-critical data can remain automatically blocked if the company network is logged into from a mobile device or from the home office. This applies, for example, to sensitive data from the ERP system or financial accounting.
  2. Blockchain Technology: The blockchain answers the elementary question of the secure origin of digital information and its authenticity. E-mails can be provided with a seal in the form of a QR code, which is automatically checked and verified by the recipient. This method can potentially be used for all communication and collaboration channels.
  3. Interorganization Messenger: An Inter-Organizational Messenger (IOM) helps to manage the deluge of messenger and chat histories, audio and video calls in companies. Through distributed data storage, an IOM ensures that the data always remains on the server of the company or location whose employee initiated the communication and is not transferred to other servers.
  4. End-to-end encryption: Data encryption is considered the silver bullet for secure communication. It is important to note that it must be usable independently of the device and must be multi-client-capable. The type of encryption and the encryption algorithms used are also important. For example, OMEMO encryption is currently the most secure method for instant messaging.
  5. Selective rollouts: Modular software stacks simplify the deployment processes for rollouts, updates and upgrades. In this way, the relevant program modules can be provided flexibly and precisely, without having to laboriously roll out huge software packages in an all-or-nothing process.

“With home office and remote working, the requirement profiles for communication and collaboration programs have changed drastically,” explains Andrea Wörrlein, Managing Director of VNC in Berlin and Member of the Board of Directors of VNC AG in Zug. “In addition to the technical tools, the use of open source as a code basis and the provision of the programs via flexible hosting models are among the most important prerequisites for efficient and at the same time secure cooperation in the company.”

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