Managing Remote Employees with a Cloud Directory

Written by Rajat Bhargava on March 12, 2020

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Today’s workforce is far different than previous generations. With many new models of working and contracting available thanks in part to cloud-based services, a company’s team isn’t necessarily in one location, and members aren’t always formal employees. Organizations are able to take advantage of experts in every field, regardless of where they’re located. And because they need the very best talent available, companies are far more liberal today in hiring remote employees and contractors. The best workers are dictating where they want to work from, who they want to work for, and the tools they need to do their jobs.

The upside for organizations is that this modern economy helps them maximize their competitive edge. But for IT admins, the modern economy can present new security issues. IT admins have to figure out how to control access for workers who may not be employees but still need access to core applications and data. What’s more, they must ensure that remote employees and contractors follow proper security protocols in order to keep their organization’s systems safe and compliant.

The History of Remote Employees

Historically, IT admins have jumped through significant hoops to control remote employees’ computer systems and network security. These hoops include setting up VPN connections for each remote worker and installing software on each device to allow remote access in order to log in and troubleshoot the device. These additional pieces often led to additional costs and IT hassle. The remote devices usually had to connect back to an on-premises directory service, usually Microsoft® Active Directory® or OpenLDAP™. The directory served as the backbone to control user access on devices.

Nowadays, IT organizations have moved more of their infrastructure to the cloud. Combine that with the number of remote employees being hired, and IT admins are in an interesting spot. They don’t want to set up VPNs to connect back to the home office because they may not have much of anything there. In fact, many organizations that leverage the cloud don’t have Active Directory. G Suite™ is often the productivity solution of choice. Of course, G Suite doesn’t function as a directory service. As a result of a modern organization’s network setup, control over remote employee systems ends up being difficult at best.

Managing Remote Employee Systems with a Cloud-Based Directory

JumpCloud®’s Directory-as-a-Service® platform is the modern solution to controlling remote systems. Directory-as-a-Service functions as the organization’s core, authoritative directory service. A remote worker’s device can securely connect to JumpCloud’s cloud-based directory without the need for a VPN. An IT admin can control user accounts on that device and can, as a result, ensure that if an employee is terminated, so is access to that device.

Cloud Directory Service Diagram of Functions

In addition to allowing IT admins to fully control user access, a cloud-based directory service has the ability to execute commands and tasks on remote devices. These commands include the ability to update software, make changes to registry settings, or set GPO-like system and access policies. All these commands can be done remotely and across a cross-platform fleet of devices. IT admins are able to get full audit reporting and logging for each command and task that they execute, which ensures that they know exactly what is going on with each device.

Looking to manage  your remote employees’ devices and ensure all of your organization’s systems are safe and secure? Try JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service for free. Or drop us a note to talk about eliminating costly VPNs and Active Directory servers, while significantly stepping up your company’s security and control.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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