Remote Internet Access

Most businesses, whether IT or non-IT, are under pressure to provide remote network access capabilities to its users. With Network Access, your computer becomes just another citizen on the network. You can access the servers just as if you were on the local network except response is slower. Sometimes much, much slower. This network access can be by telephone line and modem, or by Internet through a router.The user communities requiring Remote Internet Access range from people who only need access to their e-mail and the corporate Web portal from their family PC, to the full-time telecommuters, who need to use core applications from the office network wherever they are, and in some cases even customers and vendors. Companies usually don’t have too much trouble justifying high-end solutions for the full-time telecommuters by providing them with a company-owned computer, firewall and 24×7 help desk access, since these users depend upon remote access for all their work. But sometimes it becomes difficult for them to effectively and affordably support the lower-end needs of other users, because of the security issues of the network.One solution to prevent the security threat is to implement a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN ensures a degree of security for the remote users accessing the network. There are various other emerging tools and applications, such as Cisco security agent, and Trend Micro’s network virus wall, which can be used to protect the network from unwanted viruses and unsecured devices. However, implementing solutions such as this can be costly and adds another technology to the task list of the administrator.The bottom line when it comes to Remote Internet Access seems to be due diligence combined with enough knowledge and strict policy. Firstly, before allowing another network or a user to connect to your network, you should do enough investigation and ask the right questions to feel comfortable that they have updated security software, such as antivirus, installed, and that the network or computer system has the necessary patches and updates installed.Allowing other networks and individuals to connect to your network is virtually unavoidable. All that you need is to ensure that you exercise the appropriate level of caution and pay close attention to that back door. If all of your fingers are already in use, it’s time to stick a toe in the Remote Internet Access “leak in the dike.”

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