Enabling Safe Remote Access: How We Can Help

The shift in working is becoming more remote-based over the past few years and was given a final push from the pandemic, and Synergy-UK has been working on enabling remote access for all our customers. This process was not a slow one, rather than an overnight adoption. But, we were able to give all of our customers’ secure access to their networks. At Synergy-UK, we truly believe that to work optimally with remote access, you need a VPN or Virtual Private Network. You might be wondering why we’ve chosen to go with this method rather than the other commonly used methods of remote access such as Splashtop, TeamViewer, LogMeIn or GoToMyPC, and the answer is simply because these methods have more downsides, including:

  1. GDPR compliance is important. These other methods don’t tend to be UK-based, meaning compliance is not the best. It is likely that they may not comply with the requirements of GDRP. If you are wondering if they are GDPR-compliant, check the trust, privacy and security pages of their websites.
  2. MFA/2FA capability is not a default setting. This means that there is potential for the account to be left open for hacking and other security breaches.
  3. It is common for the systems mentioned above to allow users to save any login details and passwords to Windows, which in turn compromises security.
  4. These systems can often perform poorly due to there being numerous links to remote PCs, the connection isn’t “direct”.
  5. It is true that these remote access tools often don’t link to a Windows domain, or your active directory infrastructure, or SSO (single sign-on). This means that these accounts site outside your corporate network, and it could become easy to lose track of which employees have access to which accounts, which could pose a problem when they leave the business.
  6. These systems set up a type of access which means that you are constantly connecting on your Windows to what is called the “console session” in order to work on the PC. This means that unless you possess the ability to blank the screen, you are looking at the same screen as someone else also working at the site. This could be a potentially significant confidentiality problem.

Why Did We Choose VPN?

You might still be wondering what’s so good about VPN, and why we chose it. Mainstream VPN technologies use the highest possible levels of encryption. This means that they are virtually impenetrable by anyone who is trying to hack your system or steal your data. The biggest benefit to VPN’s is that they entirely operate on your machines and your network. They do not use any third party involvement. You can easily and directly access files or application databases on the server once you are connected via VPN. You can also connect to an RDS (remote desktop) server, or you are able to connect to individual workstations – a solution to compromising your confidentiality in the scenario above. We can advise you on which solution is best for you depending on you and your company set up, budget, requirements and internet bandwidth. We mainly work with OpenSSL VPN or IPsec technologies, but there are many different types of VPN. At Synergy-UK, we have spent time meticulously planning and building our network’s hardware firewall so that we are able to assist you in implementing VPN quickly and effectively. And what is a “hardware firewall” you may be thinking? It is a machine that sits on the perimeter of your network, in between your internet modem or router, and the rest of the network. These firewalls are not anything like the software firewalls that you may have come across on every single computer within your facility. Instead, they are dedicated devices that’s primary purpose is to monitor and block any unwanted traffic that may be coming into or from your network. They also look for, detect and block any unwanted intrusions or hacking attempts, keeping your data safe at all times. These devices also have VPN capabilities. This means that, depending on your individual requirements, if you already have a hardware firewall, we can assist you with basic remote access capability very quickly. Remote workers can lose motivation, especially is living alone and working from home. It might be worth reading our article on boosting staff motivation from home. To find out how Synergy-UK can help you with VPN options, get in contact with one of our team on 0114 221 6569.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I have 20 years of experience in the IT industry. I have worked as a security analyst, trainer, and writer at Synergy-UK for over ten years.

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