Working remotely has grown over the past several months for many organizations. The ability to provide remote access involves being able to control access to network and cloud-based servers while allowing employees to access the data and files they require to do their jobs. Remote access is also needed to monitor what data and files employees are accessing.
Working remotely allows a business to continue to operate when employees are not able to work in the office. They can access the data and files they need through a secure internet connection. In recent times, many organizations are discovering their employees are more productive when working remotely, compared to working in the office.
Another type of remote access is used by IT professionals and support technicians. They use remote access to connect to employees’ computers to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues without having to physically visit and touch the computer. However, for remote access support to work, the computer does need to be able to connect to the internet and the employee must be able to log in to their work account.
Benefits of Remote Access
Aside from increased productivity, another key benefit of remote access is giving companies the option to hire employees regardless of where they live. They can recruit the best talent from across the country or even globally since there are no barriers to work locations.
Another benefit of remote access is it makes collaboration on projects much easier. Project team members can contribute to the project performing assigned tasks. In addition, if a company has team members stationed remotely globally, essentially a project could be worked on 24/7.
Types of Remote Access Connections
There are several different types of remote access connections employees can use to perform their assigned job tasks remotely from home or while traveling for business. One of the more popular types of connections are VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).
A VPN creates a secure connection between the employee’s remote workstation and their in-office applications, data, and files. The user launches the VPN and logs in to it first. Once authenticated, the VPN secures the “public” internet connection and turns it into a “private” internet connection with a secure connection to the company’s network.
A second commonly used connection type for remote access is that of cloud-based work environments. The employee logs in using an application like Citrix. Once authenticated, a virtual desktop opens and provides access to everything the employee needs to perform their job remotely. This type of connection can also be used with a VPN in cases where the employee is connecting directly to network servers in the office.
A third, but less frequently used, remote access connection is desktop sharing. A user shares their desktop, applications, network access, etc., on a desktop in the office. Then, when at home, they connect to their in-office computer from a work-provided laptop or personal computer via the internet.
Keep in mind that there are also various types of connections needed for remote access to work properly. Some people may use a cable modem with high-speed internet access to work remotely. Other people will use a DSL phone line for high-speed access.
With 4G and 5G connections available, secure cellular connections are yet another type of connection option used for remote access. Secure satellite connections are also an option when working in a remote location with no cellular towers or wired connected options available.
How Do Remote Access Services Work?
Remote access services all function similarly by providing access to workstations, servers, data, files, and applications the employee needs to access from a remote location. Depending on the exact configuration, the processes could include using a combination of hardware, remote connectivity, and applications.
For example, an employee can launch their VPN app, log in to it, and obtain a secure connection over the internet. Next, they can launch their remote desktop using Citrix or a similar app, log in, and authenticate with the network server. From there, they would have access to everything like they were sitting at their computer in the office.
Both the host computer and the receiving computer or server must have special software and features enabled to allow the hardware to connect remotely, communicate, and transmit data to/from the devices. The software application must also have security features to help encrypt and decrypt data as it is being sent and received.
Another option some organizations use with remote access services is to allow employees to remotely run applications from the cloud on any device. The benefits of this remote access are that organizations do not have to worry about configuring multiple devices and employees have the flexibility of being able to work on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
How Do Organizations Protect Data and Files When Using Remote Access Services?
There are several different types of remote access software applications organizations can use to help monitor remote file access and remote data access when employees are working from home or elsewhere. These applications are typically installed on the host servers or a centralized server that is connected to multiple network and cloud-based servers.
When a remote workstation connects to the network or cloud-based server, the application monitors what files and data are being accessed, what is being done to them, who is accessing them, and when they are accessing them. All this information is recorded in an event log.
In the event the employee attempts questionable activities like copying and moving hundreds of files, the application would shut them down, stop the moving process, and lock them out of all servers. A network administrator would also receive an alert notifying of what the employee attempted.
From there, it would be a matter of determining whether the employee was indeed doing something malicious or more innocent—like thinking that it would be easier to download the files they needed to do their job and work on them offline, and then upload them later once they were finished with them.
Another type of remote access software all organizations should have is one that detects ransomware. Hackers are constantly at work trying to break through VPNs and other secure remote access connections.
With this type of software, when ransomware is detected, it locks down the infected device and prevents the spread of the ransomware to other servers and in-house and remote workstations. Network administrators are also alerted that ransomware was detected on a server or workstation.
Types of Remote Access Software for Simple Monitoring Solutions
When deciding what types of remote access software you require as part of your monitoring solutions, you will want to evaluate multiple products. Some applications require having a decent understanding of various types of computer coding languages. Others may require writing your own scripts to create various rules and actions.
Then there are simple monitoring solutions that do not require extensive computer language skills, code writing, or creating complex scripts. These applications use intuitive step-by-step guidance to create rules, exceptions, and other such things you need and take care of all the complex coding in the background for you, and they include:
1. PA Server Monitor
PA Server Monitor provides agentless server monitoring across local and remote access networks. It tracks CPU, disk space, services, event logs, pings, and more. You will always know the status of your servers with proactive warnings and alerts. Mobile access to the application is also available for easy remote access management.
2. PA File Sight
PA File Sight is perfect for monitoring remote file access and remote data access. It tracks and audits file and data access while protecting your files and data. It can be configured to provide alerts based on specific configuration settings, such as moves, copies, shares, and so on. It even includes ransomware protection as an added bonus to help prevent data loss.
3. PA Storage Monitor
PA Storage Monitor allows you to remotely monitor the status of storage devices down to the directory, file, and file owner. You can run reports that tell you the age of data and files, as well as find duplicates for more efficient storage management. This app will even predict when you will run out of storage space!
Together, these three types of remote access software applications make monitoring of remote file access, remote data access, and other vital data and events simple and easy, no matter where your employees are working.
For further information about PA Server Monitor, PA File Sight, PA Storage Monitor, and how our remote access solutions help keep your files and data secure, please feel free to explore our website or contact Power Admin at 1-800-401-2339 today! We are pleased to offer a FREE 30-day, no-obligation, full-access trial on all our applications.