If you do any kind of tech work today, then you must be very familiar with doing help desk support or administration using remote access. Your scenario could be administering 100s of PCs on a corporate network, spread across different geographical locations, or it can be providing help desk support to a residential or small business client.
In my 10+ years of experience as a repair tech, I’ve seen my fair share of mistakes that can be made in the world of IT and remote access. In fact, here’s a very common scenario that comes up: You are tasked with removing malware from a remote PC. Time constraints, efficiency, and location make remote access the best way to clean the computer. Yet this presents challenges right off the bat, because not only do you need to remove the problem on the target computer, but you have to make sure that the computer and network that you are working from stays clean. Anyone else deal with that?
Sure, each scenario will present unique challenges and specialized configurations, but they really boil down to making reliable remote connections while retaining the proper level of security. Here’s my list of the worst IT mistakes related to remote access that I’ve seen.
- Ignoring the Vulnerabilities in SSL VPNs
This is probably one of the most important security aspects in a VPN or remote access situation. Remote access is basically creating a connection between two endpoints. Once that connection is established, those endpoints can share information, good or bad. No matter what kind of connection software and encryption methods are being used, viruses, malware, worms, and malicious code can easily port from a patch neglected endpoint to a company network. Many people get fooled into thinking that their SSL VPN connection is private, secure, and encrypted, so everything is safe. They neglect to realize that the security is in the tunnel, but care still needs to be taken for the security of each endpoint.
Chuck Romano is owner of MoonCat Computer Repair and has more than 10 years experience in the IT sector.