Remote access, a technology that allows authorized ID to access corporate networks and data although physically not present, is used in many tasks, such as rebooting network, remotely assisting others, installing software to another machine, or using network devices e.g. printer or scanner. It is also common that remote access services come with typical features such as screen sharing and control sharing.
Unfortunately, as reported by Trustwave, it is found that remote management software was one of the mostÂ commonly used attack point in 2011. VPNs risks is also another thing that canâ€™t be ignored either. It is found that a VPN or similar remote access method was exploited in more than half of the data breaches it investigated. Knowing that remote access has become one exploitation point, it is impossible to ignore this irony.
The biggest security concern in remote access is that attackers will exploit the remote access connection as a jumping-off point to get deeper into an organization. This problem is even worse for small medium enterprises that operate POS (Point-of-Sales) devices as they usually outsource this task to the third party which sometimes fail to properly secure the remote access technologies they use to “help” their customers.
Due to these security reasons, it is important to keep remote access usage in regular check, including monitoring for remote access system traffic that isn’t being transmitted over HTTP, and restricting admin rights on workstations. This monitoring activity is easy to perform but few organizations really do it. Why? Simply because they are ignorance and assume that remote access is always safe.
Organization should consider emerging security products that offer enhanced forensic analysis and directory and data monitoring capabilities to better detect when remote access technologies are being used in support of an attack. However, even with better supplemental security products, organizations must shift more of the responsibility for proper use of remote access products to the end users.
It is suggested that remote access services to have these integrated features in order to be more secured:
–Â Â Â Â Â Patch managementÂ to keep software up-to-date, secure and running at peak performance.
–Â Â Â Â Â Web protectionÂ toÂ gain control of user browsing, and protect the business from legal liability.
–Â Â Â Â Â AntivirusÂ for securing servers, PCs and laptops on the move against viruses and other malware.
–Â Â Â Â Â Workstation and server monitoringÂ for catching problems at early stage, before any worse implication happens.
–Â Â Â Â Â Inventory and asset trackingÂ that allow you to always know what is on your network.
–Â Â Â Â Â Remote controlÂ in order to quickly take control and fix issues remotely.