Ways to enable network access
Credentials and logins are an essential part of network security. Often, when you think about the term remote access, you think of employees accessing a business’s network remotely. When businesses issue credentials or logins to employees, there are limitations on what they can do – check emails, look at reports, or see a file in a specific place.
However, when credentials and logins are issued to vendors, these have a higher degree of power. Since a vendor is external to a business, you don’t have the same control over who is coming and going and how many times their login is shared. Businesses must be aware that the login types for internal and external employees are very different. Because of this, it’s imperative that businesses have much more control over their remote vendor access.
Beyond that, enterprises need a detailed log of exactly what individuals did while they were connected to their network. If you don’t have that, you don’t have security; you don’t have accountability, and you don’t have compliance.
Compare and contrast
There are a couple of primary solutions that come to mind when you think about allowing access to a business network – VPNs or desktop sharing. Below, we’ll examine these two methods to see how they differ from a third-party vendor remote access software solution.
While VPNs are ideal for employee remote network access, for a vendor, this type of access can be limited and frustrating. When using VPNs to access customer networks, vendors may get dropped off their own network and not be able to access their local knowledge-base or hard drive. VPNs are great for enabling access to local resources, but for third-party vendors, they can pose difficulties when trying to get user accounts authorized and configured. This means vendor technicians often end up sharing credentials and logins, which leads to security and accountability challenges, as well as compliance complications.
Desktop sharing support tools are designed for remote support of end-user desktops. While desktop sharing is great for desktops, customers often create a bottleneck in the remote vendor access process. The end-user has to surrender control of their machine and allow indirect access, or the customer has to get to the data center and launch a session. Customers also get limited access control or auditing features.
With a software solution like SecureLink, businesses can authenticate on the vendor side, using the vendor’s Active Directory (AD), LDAP, or email. User accounts aren’t shared and every action is tied to an individual – helping ensure accountability and compliance. The platform restricts access to specific machines and ports on the customer side while leaving the technician connected to their own network. It also gives direct access to servers, even when the customer isn’t there, as well as providing high-definition auditing. In addition, vendors can use tools (like database clients) and more than one technician can connect to a customer at the same time.
Our sole focus is secure third-party remote access. For highly regulated enterprise organizations, SecureLink Enterprise has pioneered a secure remote access platform. SecureLink for enterprise allows an organization to identify, control, and audit third-party vendors. For vendors, SecureLink is the gold standard remote access support platform because it is easy, efficient, and ensures compliance and reduces liability when supporting customers.