A long time ago, IT administrators mostly concerned themselves with managing on-premises employees and devices. They could create a homogeneous environment and deal with problems in-house.
With a VPN and corporate-issued laptop, employees could start to telecommute from far-flung locations. For IT administrators, remote access became a somewhat more complicated task.
More employees are bringing their smartphones and tablets from home, and asking their IT departments to incorporate those personal devices into the corporate network.
With more employees working from other locations and more personal devices on the corporate network, the task of offering secure, simple remote access threatens to become a monumental challenge for IT pros at every level.
Nonetheless, remote access offers some advantages. It gives workers more flexibility and can sometimes reduce an organizations costs.??Ã
Simplicity and Security
Companies concerns about remote access should focus on two areas: simplicity and security.
Some of the security measures for remote access are very basic: IT administrators should ensure their VPN is secure, warn employees about clicking on possible malware links and quickly deactivate ex-employees access to the network.
Companies such as Intel and Hewlett-Packard are introducing more reliable methods of user authentication, including fingerprint scanners, face-recognition software and two-factor passwords.
Tech vendors have also been developing ways to create isolated virtual machines, which can compartmentalize different spheres of operation.
Much of the complexity associated with remote access is due to companies using four or five different platforms to enact a small number of solutions: a server from one vendor, say, running software from another, in order to deliver apps or services to a variety of devices.
IT administrators may have to make conscious decisions about ways to streamline the component chain involved in remote access. Users will be more likely to use remote access correctly if it only takes a few clicks to log onto and work within the corporate network.
A number of cloud-based vendors have begun offering solutions that give remote workers ubiquitous access to applications from a broad range of devices.