In the simplest of terms, remote access is the ability for an authorized user to access a computer from another device from any location. Remote computer access enables teams to work remotely and enables users to access their files from any device.
The work environment is changing rapidly and will continue to transform. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pushed businesses to adapt to work-from-home rules, but remote work is not going away even with widespread vaccination and containment measures. As of March 2021, 20% of the Canadian workforce was working remotely.
Businesses need to adjust to the new work dynamics, and with technologies like this, companies stand to gain more benefits. For example, remote access reduces on-premise service trips by 9% and improves service effectiveness by 20%.
Both free and subscription-based software for remote access is available. These platforms are installed in the user’s and host device to activate the access functionality. In addition, you can customize the software to suit your business goals, financial resources, and the company’s size.
A significant concern with this type of access is data and cloud infrastructure security. However, there are plenty of technologies that guarantee remote access security, such as:
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) – users can access remote devices through a private network.
- Endpoint security – malware protection and firewalls that secure endpoint devices (laptops, IoT devices, mobile phones, servers) on your private network.
- Network Access Control (NAC) – applies authentication measures to deter unauthorized users from accessing your secure network and endpoint devices.
- Single Sign-On (SSO) – allows users to access remote hardware and networks with one set of authentication credentials.
What is Remote Access?
Remote computer access enables users to tap into company resources, work tools, and applications from any network or device.
It is a game-changer, especially with the ongoing digital transformation. As more employees opt to work remotely, companies are becoming less worried about lost connectivity or productivity.
Users can access applications, files, and folders, allowing them to control and manipulate the host device through the internet.
Remote Access Uses with Examples
This technology cuts across all sectors because it’s a valuable tool to take control of a device and manipulate it in any way. So how is this access used?
Help Desk Support
Remote access allows MSP help desk personnel to diagnose device issues and resolve them from any location. Remote technical support can scan your device, identify the problem and fix it without a service trip. In case of a malfunction, tech support can run software from their end, get to the root cause and deploy solutions to the user’s device.
Remote Computer Repair
Specific computer solutions are only available on the cloud from companies in different locations—for example, hard-drive repair, free remote computer repair, malware protection, etc. This access provides a platform for experts to conduct off-site hardware repairs. These experts can gain access to your PC, install repair software and even make hardware configurations.
Deploying Server Management Tools
Remote access enables system admins to manage and monitor server performance remotely using these tools:
- Software-based remote access systems
- Out-of-band IP switches
- Embedded service processors
How Does Remote Access Work?
Remote pc access works by combining hardware, software, and network configurations to provide accessibility to distributed teams. These configurations connect through WAN, LAN, and VPN platforms to link devices and users from any location.
A Remote Access Connections Manager (RasMan) manages dial-up and VPN connections and determines how devices connect to the internet.
On the other hand, a Remote Desktop Connection Manager manages servers, data centers, and remote PC connections.
The determining factor in remote access is the type of network used to deploy connectivity. The IT admin creates a virtual connection between the host device and the off-site user. The tools below enable the access connections:
- Broadband connection – allows users to access remote devices via a cable network.
- Mobile internet device – provides remote access through wireless connection or WIFI.
- WAN/LAN/VPN – uses a secure network to connect users and devices remotely
- Remote PC access – these are applications and software that provide remote access to distributed users. For example, video conferencing apps, document sharing apps.
- Private Access Management tools (PAM) – software tools that monitor and track access to privileged devices and accounts within an organization
- Vendor Privileged Access Management tools (VPAM) – tools that secure connections and allow private access for vendors
Remote Access Feature: Use Cases
Finding the right remote access software is challenging, given the many options available in the market. The best approach is to factor in your company’s needs while scouting for a provider. Here are the critical features to look for in this access software:
- Security: remote access hinges on secure connections. Without maximum security, your IT infrastructure risks malware attacks and costly downtime. Look out for security features such as Two Factor authentication, malware protection, and the type of encryption provided.
- Help desk support: Ensure your remote access provider offers round-the-clock troubleshooting across different time zones. This ensures your teams can resolve their issues remotely with little wait time. In addition, your access software should provide live troubleshooting to resolve problems in real-time.
- Seamless directory integration: An active directory centralizes your team’s credentials for easier management. It makes it easier to reset credentials for end-users, delete and update directory groups and users from a central repository. Such functionality is critical for managing user security and accessibility.
- Scalability: As your company grows, you need an access platform that can expand and accommodate large deployments and an unlimited number of devices and users. Scalability is crucial to ensure your company’s operations do no slow down whenever you run mass deployments on your servers.
- Offline accessibility: ensure your access software connects to your devices and databases offline even when the internet experiences downtime.
- Built-in chat: instant messaging for remote teams improves productivity, issue handling, and project completion without calling or sending emails.
- Multi-session capabilities: your IT admins need to handle multiple users and devices at a go without performance lagging. Some remote access platforms limit the number of active sessions their software can run, so ensure to inquire about this feature.
Remote access provides plenty of tangible benefits to organizations; these include:
Increases productivity: By allowing teams to work remotely and access company resources wherever they are, you can boost productivity while lowering overhead costs.
Collaboration: Collaboration is another winner in remote access. You don’t have to hold on-site meetings or brainstorming sessions with remote access.
Improves knowledge sharing and management: Teams quickly access company data without leaving their workstation.
Reduces overhead and maintenance costs: Remote access reduces on-site maintenance trips and cuts down endpoint software installation requirements. IT admins can easily install software remotely on individual devices, thereby decreasing tech support costs. In addition, remote access allows companies to hire and train talent remotely. As a result, you reduce your overhead costs such as office space, hardware, and office utilities.
Provides flexibility: Companies can now operate from any location or choose to host all their operations on the cloud. Employees also get to save time and resources commuting to and from work. Such access capabilities increase productivity for companies and improve work/life balance for employees. CG Technologies offers a range of managed IT services designed to simplify the management of remote workers. Contact us to discuss how we can help with your access challenges.