April 02, 2020//Tony Howlett
Remote access has become an irreplaceable tool for the success of many companies, but using it safely and securely is difficult. Virtual private networks (VPNs) and desktop sharing platforms are two of the more commonly used tools to facilitate remote access, but if used improperly, they can pose huge security risks to your company’s network. The dangers of desktop sharing and VPNs are well-documented, but there remain plenty of good use cases for desktop sharing tools.
VPNs allow for remote, encrypted access to your network; however, using a VPN doesn’t allow for actual access on any of the hosts on that network. Desktop sharing tools take remote access further, creating an encrypted tunnel, like the VPN and letting you take over control of a specific computer. Using a VPN is like attaching a super long ethernet cord to your distant network, letting you connect to internal resources as if you were there, whereas using desktop sharing software is just like having local access to that computer without having to be physically in front of it.
The benefits of these tools are huge, so long as they’re used with proper security measures. Below is a breakdown of some of the many ways that remote desktop sharing can be useful for your company.
Conference calls are becoming a thing of the past – in most modern meetings, needing to explain a proposal or new initiative over the phone is a rarity. Instead, desktop sharing allows for real-time sharing of files, presentations, or applications with coworkers or other clients during important meetings or webinars. Rather than being limited to a phone call or a single conference room to hold a meeting or give a presentation, remote desktop sharing increases flexibility without compromising productivity, particularly for one-to-many presentations.
These tools are also helpful for individual productivity. When files exist on different servers or PCs, remote desktop sharing allows employees to edit those important files and access different programs by using a computer in one office to access a computer in a different location. This same concept is helpful when users have computers of differing processing or storage abilities. If an employee only has access to a lower-powered laptop, he or she could still complete a complex task by using desktop sharing tools to access a more powerful remote PC to handle a task that requires more computing horsepower such as editing large files like CAD, graphics, or video.
As remote work becomes increasingly popular, teams are expanding around the world. This expansive reach wouldn’t be possible without tools like remote desktop sharing. From anywhere, whether it’s one mile from the office or halfway across the world, teams are collaborating on projects in real-time. Global, diverse teams are valuable in the modern economy, but even if your team is local, providing the option for employees to work from anywhere has been proven to provide a host of benefits for companies.
Without the benefits of remote desktop sharing, companies with geographically dispersed teams would likely suffer from poor communication patterns. Luckily, the collaboration these tools encourage can actually strengthen working relationships. By inviting team members to collaborate remotely on projects on the same computer or server, it feels as if you are working in the same room. This allows your company to foster a more communicative and more inclusive work environment for everyone.
Remote desktop sharing software can also be helpful for IT professionals, as it eliminates the need to travel onsite to fix problems. Instead, within trusted networks, admins can access and take control of a PC remotely at any time to identify and resolve issues.
Any time employees, or entire systems for that matter, experience technical issues or downtime, the effects for a company are costly. A huge advantage of remote IT support is the ability to respond to cases quickly. Hewlett Packard experts saw a 66 percent reduction in problem resolution time when operating IT support remotely. When considering how much downtime can cost, the importance of getting these issues resolved quickly becomes increasingly clear – remote desktop sharing helps solve that problem.
When used safely, remote desktop sharing tools can be incredibly beneficial to your company.
In the global economy, companies are recognizing the need to facilitate remote work for their employees. While this shift comes with its own set of risks, remote sharing tools have proved to be effective in helping teams work more closely and effectively, regardless of whether they’re actually in the office together or thousands of miles apart.
Desktop sharing tools work great for their intended purposes—they are not secure or efficient tools for third-party remote access. If third parties are accessing your network, there are limitations of using desktop sharing tools that leave you vulnerable to breaches. Download our brochure that highlights the importance of having a separate software platform specifically to manage vendors’ privileged access to systems, networks, and applications.