Unpacking Remote Access: What to look for when choosing the right solution

In the latest edition of PC Pro Magazine, contributing editor Dave Mitchell prefaces a glowing review of Netop Remote Control (you can read that review here) by breaking down exactly which features amount to a superior remote access solution for enterprise and SMBs. Diverse platform support, external network access and automated deployment all make the list, but security is the first and foremost priority for business-class remote access users. Let’s take a look at how Netop Remote Control stacks up to Mitchell’s recommendations.

Never let your remote access tool become an attack vector

“If not configured correctly, a remote support tool can be a huge hole in your network perimeter.”

            First of all, don’t try to save a buck by misapplying free remote access software like Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection and Google Chrome Remote Desktop. These tools may be sufficient for the casual user, but they create a well-known security risk for businesses and organizations. RDP necessitates opening firewall port 3389, a vulnerability that is commonly exploited, and while Google Chrome Remote Desktop may be alluring as a free app it provides “no facilities for auditing or restricting access privileges” that businesses need to maintain network security and an effective contingency plan.

            As Mitchell recommends, Netop Remote Control offers multiple authentication options and intricate configuration of user permissions. To ensure accountability and compliance with security regulations, detailed logging and session recording capabilities allow admins to manage and oversee the who, what, when and where of all remote activity in real time. End users can also choose to authorize a support session before the service provider is allowed access –another feature Mitchell encourages businesses to leverage.

Secure access within and outside the LAN 

“Most remote support tools provide straightforward access to users’ systems on the local network. Where they differ is in how they provide access to those on the outside.”

            Most remote access solutions provide either a proprietary gateway service or an internet relay service to access external and closed systems of an organization’s network. Netop Remote Control provides both.

            Netop’s WebConnect module is a firewall friendly relay service that allows secure connections between devices in different networks. Netop WebConnect is available as a hosted service, or can be installed on-premise for organizations who want to avoid third party hosting services.

            Another option to access closed networks or isolated network segments is the Netop Gateway, a specialized Host. The Gateway provides a single point of entry into a closed network. Netop Gateway modules can be used in conjunction with the WebConnect service to provide access into even the most convoluted and diverse environments, an especially useful feature for complex networks with many segments.

Make sure you have the platform support you need

“During testing we had no problems supporting our Windows 7, 8 and 10 workstations, and most popular Linux distributions… but if you need Mac integration, check first.”

            Larger organizations deploy a variety of devices that all need to be accessed and supported remotely, so it’s important to have a remote access solution that is compatible with a broad range of platforms and operating systems. Netop Remote Control has you covered, offering cross-platform support to and from nearly every OS, old and new, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and Toshiba 4690.

            Mitchell also explains the limited remote access capabilities of iOS: full remote control violates Apple’s policy and is in any case incompatible with the sandbox design of iPads and iPhones. However, Netop can configure iOS devices as Guests, meaning they can connect to and control other remote machines of any other OS.

Additional tools for service providers and end users

“Remote support is a two-way transaction: when you’re evaluating a support platform, consider the experience from both a technician’s point of view and that of the end user.”

            Most business-class remote access solutions include an ensemble of additional features to simplify the issue resolution process for both technicians and end users. Among those recommended, automated deployment, file-transfer, text, audio and video chat, remote reboots and kill switch capabilities are all provided by Netop Remote Control. For enterprise businesses with hundreds or thousands of devices requiring support, the ability to centralize the administration of remote access is also a critical requirement. Netop Remote Control integrates with existing directory services, and provides an option to manage security settings and event logs from a central location.

            Service providers will sometimes take advantage of inventory tools that allow them to see the installed programs of a device before they begin their support session. Netop takes it a step further, with options to run and export inventory reports including OS, hardware specs, and installed service packs of any given device. An admin can also schedule custom scripts to update and patch software if need be.

 

            You can read Dave Mitchell full review of Netop Remote Control here, and don’t hesitate to contact us should you take his recommendation and switch to the preferred remote access and support software for enterprise and SMBs.