The Importance of Regularly Updating Remote Access Policies and Procedures

remote access policies

Human error continues to be the most significant source of successful data breaches and theft in 2024. Shockingly, 52% of people who fell for business email compromise and phishing scams believed the emails they received were from someone in the organization. These statistics underscore the crucial role your organization must play in maintaining cybersecurity when providing remote access to your IT infrastructure to multiple parties.

The increase in remote work after COVID-19 and the access employees need to work remotely also significantly increases the average organisation’s threat landscape. Today, 35% of organizations support employees working from home. Combining this percentage with the effects of human error underscores the need for a comprehensive remote access policy. Consequently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released several publications to educate the public about remote access cybersecurity threats and how to mitigate them. This post will build on NIST SP 600 – 46 and SP 800-114 to emphasize the importance of updating your remote access policy. A remote access policy is important for safeguarding the network from potential security risks posed by remote work.

Defining Remote Access

NIST’s special publication defines remote access as ‘the ability of an organization’s users to access non-public computing resources from locations other than the organization’s facilities.’ It omits the description of the term ‘users.’ Remote access users include company employees, third-party suppliers, and any entity accessing the organization’s IT network. Remote desktop protocols (RDP), application portals, and direct application access are commonly used to provide these distributed users remote access to an organization’s network.

It is crucial to identify users who need remote access and assign remote access to them by their direct managers. Organizations use different forms of secure RDPs, VPNs, and portals to provide network access to their networks. Examples include OpenVPN and proprietary solutions such as Microsoft or Apple remote desktop, Intelligent platform management interface (IPMI), TeamViewer, Secure Shell, etc. However, the provision of remote access using these solutions comes with risks, including:

Employee Negligence: Negligence or human error may present itself in different forms, including employees using unsecured networks or public internet to access your organization’s network, using an insecure port, clicking, or downloading malware, and falling victim to phishing attacks.

Inadequate Security Protocols: Organizational negligence also exists in the form of configuring and using inadequate security protocols, even when using turnkey access solutions. This negligence leads to third parties gaining unauthorized access to your sensitive data or users accessing sensitive information irrelevant to executing daily activities.

Hidden or Unidentified Security Flaws: Misconfigurations of remote access systems or unprotected endpoints provide hackers with exploitable vulnerabilities in your network. These security flaws may be leveraged to execute BEC scams or ransomware attacks.

Reducing Risks by Regularly Updating Your Comprehensive Remote Access Policy and Procedures

Reputable organizations and governmental agencies recommend regularly updating your remote access policy to mitigate its associated cybersecurity risks. NIST SP 800-46 states that organizations should carefully plan the maintenance and management of any remote access solution and process before deployment. Thus, it highlights the crucial need to update a remote access policy before offering remote access as a service for the organization’s users.

The purpose of a remote access policy is to clarify and determine how an organization provides security to IT systems when accessed remotely. NIST further recommends that the remote access policy include operational processes for checking and deploying upgrades, updates, and patches for your remote access system to ensure comprehensive security. It is also essential to implement centralized management of data access to ensure that only authorized users are allowed access to the network. A regular update policy reduces cybersecurity threats and risks through:

Regular Audits with a Comprehensive Audit Mechanism

Conducting regular audits of your remote access system and policies with a comprehensive audit mechanism is a tool for implementing updates to your security procedures. How else would an organization pre-emptively discover vulnerable endpoints, inspect defined privileges, check if security measures still function optimally, or enforce compliance?

Regular audits of your remote access policy support the development of updated policies and ensure your networks and remote access systems can handle today’s dynamic cybersecurity demands. Audits help in identifying gaps and areas for improvement, ensuring that policies are not just updated but also aligned with the latest security standards and compliance requirements.

Implementing New Security Measures

As the cyber threat landscape evolves, your organization must remain ahead of bad actors to limit system vulnerabilities. An updated policy ensures that your security procedures integrate new solutions to eliminate threats. Examples include the application of AI, encryption, and automation to detect anomalies within the remote access infrastructure, predict attacks, and respond in real time. Centralized management of data access is crucial to ensure that only authorized users are allowed access into the network.

New security measures should be implemented in accordance with the latest best practices and technological advancements. This includes adopting technologies that provide secure remote access, such as VPN access and secure RDPs, which ensure that only authorized users can connect to the organization’s network from outside the office. Implementing these measures helps safeguard corporate data and networks amidst the continuing popularity of remote work. Additionally, the challenge of geographically dispersed users logging in from unsecured locations, such as their home networks, must be addressed to maintain network security.

Enforcing Policy Compliance

The audits that accompany a regular policy update highlight how adequately previous policies were applied. Audit results would determine if further enforcement of password policies, user reporting, and incident response procedures are being followed. Where deficiencies are discovered, policy updates should include additional training and awareness of end users to improve your IT network’s security posture.

Enforcement of policy compliance ensures that all stakeholders, from employees to third-party vendors, adhere to the organization’s minimum requirements for remote access privileges to the internal network. This includes following acceptable use guidelines and implementing centralized management of remote access connections. Guidelines for network and computer use in remote work environments are crucial to ensure secure and authorized access. By enforcing compliance, organizations can mitigate potential security threats and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and systems.

How Fudo Can Help in Ensuring Secure Remote Access

Fudo Enterprise is a turnkey Privilege Access Management (PAM) solution that enhances your remote access policy’s monitoring, auditing, updating, and implementation. Fudo accomplishes this task by providing you with a centralized, single source of truth for managing, monitoring, and securing remote accounts. When anomalies and network breaches occur, Fudo plays a crucial role by providing your response team with detailed activity logs to help isolate affected systems, gain insight into threat actors, and implement corrective measures according to your response policy. Parallels RAS helps organizations provide secure remote access through features such as granular permission policies, multifactor authentication, integration with third-party security solutions, and delivery of server-based desktops and applications for secure deployment and maintenance.

Organizations provide secure remote access through solutions like Fudo and Parallels RAS. Fudo Enterprise provides your organization with features such as session monitoring and recording, password management, user efficiency analyzer, and AI breach prevention. These functionalities enable your organization to monitor third-party activities in real time and automate repetitive monitoring activities the average human may miss. To learn more about Fudo concerning implementing your remote access policy and other security concerns, contact our cybersecurity experts today.

Guidelines Surrounding Remote Access

When establishing remote access policies, it’s crucial to create a written document containing comprehensive guidelines. This document should cover everything from network connectivity (e.g., VPN access) to third-party vendor access. Organizations must specify protocols for securing data access, safeguarding assets, and preventing future occurrences of breaches. Moreover, solutions like Gemalto (formerly SafeNet) and Google Authenticator, alongside deepnet and VPN connectivity (e.g., Parallels RAS), deliver robust server security. These measures ensure that remote access policies are not only comprehensive but also aligned with the latest cybersecurity standards and practices. By documenting these guidelines, organizations can effectively manage remote access risks and enhance overall network security.


Updating your remote access policy is not just a good practice but a necessity in today’s rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape. By regularly auditing and updating your policies, implementing new security measures, enforcing policy compliance, and leveraging advanced PAM solutions like Fudo Enterprise, organizations can effectively mitigate risks associated with remote access and ensure secure operations. Embracing these practices not only protects sensitive data and networks but also enhances overall cybersecurity resilience against emerging threats.

Implementing these strategies and leveraging the power of Privileged Access Management, organizations can enhance their supply chain security, protect against unauthorized access, and ensure that their supply chain remains resilient and efficient in the face of evolving threats.