Posts Tagged ‘working remotely’

This is the third and final entry in our Q&A series on questions related to employee provisioning and VPNs. Last week, we addressed how provisioning can benefit an organizations’ overall security postures as well as the de-provisioning tactics necessary to mitigate security risks during employee transitions. 

Question: Certain scenarios, such as short-term business partnerships, will require adaptable provisioning. How can VPN technology enable temporary and secure remote access? What are other solutions companies can use to incorporate flexibility into their workforce?

Joerg Hirschmann: VPN solutions offer different access points for various types of remote access users. In general, employees will require deeper access to corporate network resources than external partners will need. For that reason, companies should deploy VPN clients to their entire workforce, depending on the necessary access requirements, whereas external partners should access the relevant applications through client-less SSL VPNs, if possible. This will allow external partners to avoid the process of deploying software and licenses.

Organizations can also achieve temporary access, whether it be on-demand or limited hourly access,  by implementing a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server. With this approach, general access limitations can be set automatically, whereas on-demand access will have to be enabled–as well as disabled–manually by an administrator. Again, process quality is important.

If you have any questions that you would like answered on VPNs, remote access, network security and the likesend them to 

Joerg Hirschmann is CTO at NCP Engineering GmbH

The disruption that this year’s Olympic Games could cause to London’s transport infrastructure, and the resulting effect on businesses and organizations has been well-documented and should not be underestimated. We have already seen advice from the Games organizers suggesting that employees should be allowed to work at home during the event. As a result, both public and some private sector organizations have started to implement plans and hold practice runs for such an eventuality. However, with so many employees working from home for the first time there is a lot more for organisations to take into consideration than at first glance.

As the pressure on public transport and road networks reaches its zenith, it is extremely likely that we will see a dramatic increase in the number of employees who will be working from home, in order to avoid the disruption, particularly in the build up to popular events. However, with such a sudden pressure on organizations’ IT networks the chances of a systems crash increases dramatically. Patrick Oliver Graf of NCP engineering* believes that businesses must be savvier about how they can prepare for this event.

“With so many employees potentially working from home during the Olympic Games, the use of home PCs, private laptops and mobile devices like an Android tablet, is very likely to increase. The ‘Bring Your Own Device’ topic has received plenty of attention over the past few months, especially focusing on the security risk element. However, a sudden influx of employees using their own devices to access corporate networks could cause huge problems for organizations, already under strain as a result of a remote workforce,” says Patrick.

He adds, “This variety of devices and operating systems makes it even more complicated to introduce a solution that ensures corporate networks continue running during this period, especially one that works for all client devices and operating systems. Companies also need to ensure that any solution implemented satisfies the security requirements/policies a company should have in place to enable remote working. This extra pressure could not have come at a worse time when organizations are having to root out cost efficiencies.”

Organizations need to find a solution that is able to provide cross-platform client support, a hybrid SSL/IPsec gateway and ideally where the entire remote access VPN can be centrally managed. The main problem organizations are going to face is the huge increase in remote workers trying to access the network remotely at the same time, therefore the gateway needs to handle potentially thousands of simultaneous sessions/users.

There is no doubt about it, the Olympics will be a fantastic spectacle and something everyone will want to embrace. By ensuring the IT infrastructure is able to run effectively, business operators will enjoy the experience with piece of mind.

*NCP engineering manages this blog.