Remote Access By Matthew Benack Karen L. Paullet ISSC481 IT Security Planning and Policy February 20, 2011 Remote Access Nowadays, computers are a part of everything that people use. We use them for news, communication, find information, online education, banking transactions and working on a computer in the office from across the world. Time and money are always issues in business so when things go wrong with technology or your computer how does it get fixed? This can be a problem especially if you are away from home or the office.
The days of computer technicians being paid to fly cross country or around the world for three days to fix computers are obsolete. This has been replaced by remote computer support or remote access. Giving a person access to your computer from outside network can make a person uneasy. The best way to ease that uncertainty is to learn about the technology and understand it. Remote access is a way for users and IT support to access a computer or network from a distant place away from the home server.
Remote Access Essay Example
This can also be used to make use of any resources like stored data or programs that might not be available on the computer that you are using. Most corporations that have employees that work from remote locations or work from home use some type of remote access. This is a valuable asset to the company because it does not always have to have a paid employee at the location to get the work done. With computers becoming a more common place item in business the benefits of using remote access keep on growing.
Many benefits of remote access have only become more prevalent as the stability and speeds of the Internet have improved and increased in the past five years. The first thing that comes to mind as a benefit is the essential software used by companies such as the Microsoft Office Suite or the Adobe Acrobat Suite. These are major players in the business world and are not cheap if you were to have to buy a copy every time. Sage Accounts and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are a couple of other programs that are used by remote access.
Use of Secure E-Mail thru Microsoft Exchange server email is a large one that business professionals use while on the road. Use your hosted desktop anywhere in the world with an internet connection and computer. Everyone hates to lose data, remote access provides a housed secure data center and provides encrypted signal both up and down to the server keeping prying eyes away from the data. Remote CRM hosting is also largely used by business professionals on the road increasing customer retention and sales all over the world. Finally the one that everyone likes to hear and see, the bottom line and cost-savings.
Some major cost saving comes from businesses not needing to purchase Adobe Acrobat Suite software in multiple copies. Another that is really great is Microsoft Office suite usually comes included with remote IT system setup. This all sounds great and can do many things for the business but there are risks. On top of the growing list of risks that have already been addressed in the security of the network like: malware, spam, DoS attacks, USB devices, web-based email and so on, along comes this cool thing called remote access.
When the company trusts a person with remote access privileges this is done with limited knowledge about the network being used to connect to the company network. If a remote connection is made with the company network on a company provided computer, but the home network being used is not secured properly then you have opened a potential door for access to the company. This would also apply to a trusted connection to a supplier that has a “trusted connection” with another company that is not secured and is infected with a worm; you have now become a victim of the same worm because of this connection.
The potential for unsecured connections, even though the connection to the office network is secure, is an endless list. Lets add another variable like laptop theft, which is on the rise in corporate America. What better way for a hacker to gain access than thru a workstation already setup because the employee that was given remote access set the laptop to remember login information. So ask yourself is remote access really needed for that executive just to allow them to work from home? The benefit of comfort for one could have devastating effects on the company as a whole.
If you have chosen to allow this then one must know what is involved with remote access. Everyone knows that in the end most things in business come down to cost of start-up, and maintaining the system after that. Let’s start with pcAnywhere, one of the first of its kind that allowed cross-platform capabilities that allowed Windows, Mac and Linux systems to access one another’s servers. Then came VNC that allowed keyboard and mouse events from computer to computer. Not sure the cost was the issue for the failure more than the ability of these systems to be hacked.
Since these two hit the market there has been a large number of these pop up to try and take their share of the market each with advantages and disadvantages and Each with their own idea of how to charge as well. PcAnywhere is still around and charges $99 to $199 depending on the options that are chosen (Symantec. com, 2011). Next is Timbuktu that runs $89. 95 for one computer to $1,599. 95 for a thirty pack (netopia. com). Then comes LapLink Four that cost $49. 95 for one user of for a three pack $99. 95 you get access to multiple computers (laplink. om). Finally there is GoToMyPC which offers standard, pro and corporate. Standard is $99 a year, Pro is 198 a year which is for 1 admin and 2 – 50 computers and then corporate which requires contacting the company for pricing. The use of these remote access programs allows a lot of flexibility but security is a big concern with companies now days. Computers, no matter how they are connected to a network, are at risk. Privacy and security concerns will always arise the best you can hope for is to control it.
Some things that will minimize and help control the use of remote access are: * Expect hostile threats will occur (laptop theft, data interception). * Develop policy defining telework, remote access. * Configure remote access servers to enforce the policies. * Secure client devices against common known threats. * Employ and enforce strong encryption and user authentication Each one of these might seem inconvenience but when using remote access security should outweigh convenience (Chabrow, 2009). Remote access can help business professionals conduct their daily business nd stay connected to the home office but at what price? Businesses need to look closely at how much the remote access is needed because it does keep IT professionals very busy trying to secure the connection and maintain privacy. Does the benefit outweigh the risk and if so how much risk is the company willing to take? These are questions only the IT staff and executives of the business can answer. References: Bradley, T. (2011) The Secret Passage. Retrieved on February 19, 2011 at: http://netsecurity. about. com/od/perimetersecurity/a/aa060304. htm Chabrow, E. 2009) 5 Steps to Secure Remote Access Retrieved on February 18, 2011 at: http://www. govinfosecurity. com/articles. php? art_id=1247&pg=2 King, C. (2010). Everything You Need to Know About Remote Computer Support. Retrieved on January 16, 2011 at: http://computeruser. com/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-remote-computer-support. html Smith, L. (). What Are the Benefits of Remote Accesss and Hosted Desktop IT Systems? Retrieved on February 19, 2011 at: http://ezinearticles. com/? What-Are-the-Benefits-of-Remote-Access-and-Hosted-Desktop-IT-Systems? amp;id=1318909 Tatum, M. (2010). What Is Remote Access? Retrieved on February 19, 2011 at: http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-remote-access. htm Unknown. (2011). Compare Plans Retrieved on February 18, 2011 at: http://www. gotomypc. com/remote_access/remote_desktop Unknown. (2011). LapLink Everywhere Retrieved on February 19, 2011 at: http://www. laplink. com/lle5/pricing. html Vamosi, R. (2003). The Dangers of Remote PC Access Retrieved on January 16, 2011 at: http://reviews. cnet. com/4520-3513_7-5053016-1. html