Remote Access Security Tips

Posted March 6, 2012, 2:00 pm by Jorge Flores

Image of Jorge

Jorge Flores

With the continuing advent of new technologies and ways of communicating, it is important to remember that with new technologies come associated new security threats. One of the newer, most utilized technologies to date in the business environment has been remote computing. Remote access has quickly become a wide-spread technology used throughout multiple industries in the marketplace today. The inherent efficiencies realized through remote computing have been tremendous. The ability to work remotely, access secure work networks, and hold meetings from any Internet-connected device, however, has been both a blessing and a curse. With the advent of mass-marketed downloadable programs such as pcAnywhere and GoToMyPC, remote access has quickly become the “weak link” in otherwise secure networks.

According to the 2012 Global Security Report released earlier this year, an astounding 61.7% of reported data breaches last year were due to an exploited security weakness in remote access applications. Clearly, remote access has become the entry point of choice for hackers. If a single infected device accesses your otherwise secure corporate network remotely, all those updated security programs and patches won’t do much to protect you.  

Here are a few tips when putting together a remote access security solution and policy:

  • Secure the endpoint. It's critical that every remote PC or device that connects to the company network is free from malware.  An infected machine can transmit malware to the company network or malicious programs like keystroke loggers can compromise sensitive infomation like user names and passwords.  Select a remote access solution that ensures that anti-malware software is in place and that Windows OS patches are up to date.  "Go to desktop" solutions that don't inspect the security of the endpoint put your network at risk. 
  • Restrict remote access to only those parts of the network the user needs. You can use permissions to allow different users, differing levels of network access. You can also restrict usage to just specific applications depending on what specific users need. Less exposure = more security.
  • Two-Factor Authentication is essential. You can have all the anti-virus software in the world but it will not protect you from a remote intrusion using stolen credentials. This is actually one of the main ways hackers gain access to a network. Prepare some type of two-factor authentication for users logging onto the corporate network using remote access software.
  • Consider using a managed option. A managed VPN connectivity solution can take the headache out of implementing a remote access plan yourself. ANX’s PositivePro is an example of a full-suite VPN solution that takes into account all remote access security best practices. Two-factor authentication, site-to-site VPN, and automated end-point security are among the few features provided.

Remote access is a powerful tool if utilized correctly. Make sure you have a security plan in effect or your efficiency-creating technological advantage can quickly become your most expensive headache.


Filed under: Remote Access
Edited January 12, 2018 by Glenn
Listed in Communities: Our Site

You must be logged in to post comments.