Remote work started with COVID-19 but it continues to be used even after the COVID cases have decreased. Even though it may be productive and more comfortable for your employees, it creates security issues for your company. Data security is one of the main security concerns in any business. Your business needs to protect client data, but remote work means you have a distributed workforce using various internet connections.
This might be a security nightmare up till secure remote access is implemented, and IP whitelisting is one of the ways you can secure your network for remote work.
What exactly is IP whitelisting?
In IP whitelisting, you give network access to only particular IP addresses. To access the corporate network while working remotely, each employee or authorized user gives the network administrator their home IP address, which the administrator adds to a whitelist. You can manage who has access to your network and the data on it with the use of IP whitelisting, also known as IP allowlisting security.
Advantages of IP whitelisting
Improved cloud security
These days, with the help of several cloud apps, employees are given the flexibility they need to increase productivity and businesses substantially profit from this environment. However, as more and more employees work remotely, they access their data from various systems with various IP addresses. Consequently, a certain user’s access to corporate data exposes other IP addresses to it. As a result, there is a persistent concern about data leakage, which leaves data theft as a potential danger to overall organization security.
IP whitelisting can help you overcome that problem and provide improved cloud security. You can then monitor user data access from various systems with various IP addresses to prevent any unforeseen data breach, which might result in severe losses for the company if not prevented.
Without IP whitelisting, employees might use multiple devices while working from home. This is not only insecure but also comes with more distractions. According to research, employees watch about an hour of non-work-related media every day on average. Whitelisting gives organizations the flexibility to define their own device policies. It enables businesses to prohibit distracting and unsafe websites that might undermine corporate goals and lower productivity.
When only whitelisted IPs are allowed access, system failures and delays are also significantly reduced, even as resources increase. Your employees will be more productive as a result since you’ll be handling fewer issues.
Secured remote work
Whitelisting helps businesses to secure their employees’ remote network access, including BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that let workers use their own devices. Businesses may reduce cloud and on-site hazards that can adversely affect their projects or earnings with remote access security.
Whitelisting vs blacklisting
Whitelisting and blacklisting are two terms that are commonly compared with each other. Applications, infrastructures, and networks can all benefit from both methods for ensuring security. However, as whitelisting and blacklisting cannot always be done simultaneously, you may need to choose the strategy that best suits your requirements.
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What is blacklisting?
The majority of antivirus software employs blacklisting to prevent harmful entities. The first step in the blacklisting process is making a list of all the programs or users that might endanger the network, either through malware assaults or by simply decreasing its productivity. Blacklisting is an example of a threat-centric approach.
Even if it is quick and easy, blocking anything that is untrustworthy may not always be the best course of action. Also, a security breach might occur before a potentially harmful application is added to the blacklist.
Since whitelisting places a greater emphasis on trust, it is believed to be more secure. Additionally, it is considerably simpler to create a whitelist because there are undoubtedly fewer trusted programs than distrusted ones. Whitelisting might be advantageous for businesses that adhere to tight regulatory compliance procedures.
Do you need IP whitelisting for safe access control?
Whitelisting has a substantial positive impact on security. By severely restricting access sources, they lower attack surfaces. By highlighting illegal connection attempts and adding extra obstacles in the adversary’s path, whitelists help reduce the effect of successful security breaches.
Whitelisting might be useful when you wish to limit what a service, user, or application has access to and forbid it from doing or accessing anything else. This rule would essentially whitelist a certain behavior type and forbid activity that does not adhere to predetermined standards.
Even though IP whitelisting is not a complete cybersecurity solution on its own and you’ll need other security practices to protect your company network, it definitely helps you protect your remote business and reduce the number of potential attacks and their effects.
We can think of whitelisting as a filtration mechanism that only lets trustworthy resources in while blocking all other incoming traffic. It is a popular security method used by startups, small businesses, and other organizations to protect their connections. As mentioned above, even though it might not be a complete cybersecurity solution that would protect your business from every threat, it is one of the essential steps in protecting your remote business.
As always, deciding whether IP whitelisting is a suitable cybersecurity action for you depends on the specifics of your company, such as the industry you work in, how many employees you have, and how many of those employees work remotely. Make sure to consult an expert to make the best possible decision for your company.