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  • Writer's pictureNisarg Naik

Remote Access Technology Guide For SMBs

What is Remote Access technology?

To begin with, it is important that we define what is meant by remote access technology in this context. Remote access technology comes from any IT toolkit used to connect, access, and control devices, resources and data stored on a local network from a remote location. This is different from using a cloud solution, as it provides access to a built-in location rather than hosted outside of shared and available online. This makes remote access very important for businesses of all sizes that have not gone to the original cloud model, or that need access to equipment or in-house facilities. The three most advanced technologies for remote access - Remote Desktop Services, Remote Access Software, and Virtual Private Networks - have been explored in detail in this article.

What are remote desktop services?

Remote Desktop Services (RDS), also known as Terminal Services, are commonly used by SMBs to facilitate remote work. By using RDS, individuals can remotely connect to a storage device or server that supports Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) via Terminal Server. The connection can be made via a local network or an internet connection and gives the user full access to the tools and software installed on the device to which they are connected. This approach is often used by IT departments to remotely access servers, or to provide easy access to software to multiple employees.

One of the most commonly used business applications with RDS is Intuit Quickbook. Many companies install the application in Terminal Server centralized instead of individual computers, allowing more users to connect to software on a remote device via RDS and access a set of tools.

Remote Desktop and SMB Services

While RDS can be used on a local network to make shared access to devices and devices, organizations need to access RDS services online in order to be an effective remotely working tool. However, this is becoming increasingly dangerous as the cyber security environment is evolving and is now one of the most common methods cyber attackers use to identify and break networks. Terminal servers only require a username and password to access, and are easily visible online, meaning attackers can easily use lost or stolen credentials to gain system access. In addition, RDS has several different disabilities that may allow the attacker to go through the entire login process.

The workaround to use RDS securely on the web requires the use of an additional dedicated server - often called a Remote Desktop (RD) Gateway - to broker communication. RD Gateways uses the tunneling protocol to send private, secure communications through a social network such as the Internet, making the process of using RDS online more reliable. This type of solution is suitable for large organizations with multiple Terminal servers and can tolerate very high additional server costs but is often costly for SMBs with soft infrastructure.

What is Remote Access Software?

Remote Access Software provides an alternative to RDS and uses dedicated software to connect users remotely to a storage device from anywhere in the world via the Internet. This remote access method is the easiest to use, as it only requires the user to install software on the computer in order to access it. This type of remote access is especially useful when most end-to-end organization devices are desktops.

Remote Access Software and SMB

Many SMBs prefer to use Remote Access Software to secure the RDS-like secure experience on already office computers. While an attractive solution, this can prove to be more expensive and complicated to manage by several users compared to other alternatives. All operating systems should always be open to users' ability to interact with them, which can lead to increased power consumption and discourage system restart. Remote Access Software also adds an additional layer of distraction to baking techniques, as the software can be used to give the intruder unauthorized access to the network if not properly updated. Some Remote Access Software vendors offer automatic updates, which are highly recommended for any business plan to use this technology.

What is a private network?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that creates a small, private network over a large social network - usually the Internet. By logging into the VPN, users can gain Internet-based access to applications that would only work on local networks. The goal of any client-supported VPN solution is to provide remote employees with the same level of access as on-site. However, this works differently than in the RDS period, as it does not allow full access to the entire desktop, but only certain programs, software, and other resources that the user has been given access to.

Virtual Private Networks and SMB

Organizations of all sizes often use VPN technology to securely access resources from multiple locations. Unlike RDS, a VPN connection does not require additional Hardware in order to operate securely on the Internet and is specifically designed for security. Multiple VPN connections are encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TSL) to ensure that data cannot be read by malicious third parties.

Most SMBs use their existing firewall to provide a VPN connection, as most firewalls contain a VPN server and client. While this solution offers an inexpensive way to connect a remote device to a central location, it also comes with security challenges.

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