In a shifting business landscape that has introduced phenomena such as BYOD and teams made entirely of external contractors, the ability of organizations to provide their teams with remote access to data is proving more and more critical with each passing year. This should come as no surprise, as the benefits of an anytime, anywhere data infrastructure are numerous:
- Remote data access gives employees flexibility over where they can perform their jobs.
- “Day extenders” (employees who work after hours and on weekends) benefit from access to email and networked applications.
- The ability to provide external contractors and teams with instant access to organizational data enables increased flexibility and more opportunities for business partnerships.
For years, organizations have relied on virtual private networks (VPNs) to provide remote employees and business partners with access to corporate and business systems. VPN technology is a cost-effective way for them to extend their network’s reach to anyone, anywhere, and has become ubiquitous with remote-access connectivity. However, the security risks posed by VPNs are beginning to outweigh the benefits.
The Trouble with VPNs
When a VPN is activated, there is usually a full connection between the remote network and the company network. This puts the company network at risk, as security threats have the potential to exploit the connection to the system through the less secure remote network. Additionally, employees may be accessing their company’s VPN from an unsecured network or an unsecured device, or without using security best practices (i.e. strong passwords), exposing them to cyber attack. Once an attacker breaks in, they have access to the same part of the network as the hacked employee does.
Further compounding the issue of widespread VPN use is the difficulty of support. VPN environments aren’t always compatible with every type of network, complicating end-user connectivity. For instance, users may find that their remote network is blocking access to the VPN, necessitating a needlessly complex set of steps for accessing company resources.
Introducing Remote Desktop Gateway on Windows Server 2016
Remote Desktop Services – specifically Remote Desktop Gateway (RDG) – enables the remote access capabilities of VPNs while providing a solution to their security and compatibility drawbacks. Via a secure sockets layer (SSL) connection, RDG allows users to securely connect to their work computer’s desktop via any machine with an Internet connection; all they need to know is the URL and name of their PC.
RDG is easily integrating into data environments, making secure, enterprise-grade remote management capabilities available to companies of all sizes. Anytime, anywhere access can be leveraged for critical business applications while providing remote users with the comfort and capability of their own computer.
RDG’s security and reliability are augmented when combined with Windows Server 2016:
- Device Guard, a new security feature for Windows Server 2016 and the Windows 10 operating system, provides advanced protection against malware, and improved hardware and software system integrity that allows only trusted applications to run in your environment. Device Guard helps your organization better protect their operating system from being attacked by malicious outsiders, and strengthens your security posture.
- Credential Guard provides secure Single Sign-On to a remote desktop server, making it easier for users to log onto a local PC once and access all remote services.
- SQL Azure provides Remote Desktop Services Connection Broker database, allowing for multiple Remote Desktop Connection Brokers to access the cloud reliably.
For organizations looking for remote access capabilities, RDG on Windows Server 2016 is the strategic option. For more information on how Broadview Networks can help you implement a remote access infrastructure, contact us today to get started!
Author: Michael Orloff