Why secure remote access is more important than you might think
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Megatrends in IT such as datacentre consolidation and flexible working are driving a greater requirement for secure remote access to corporate systems.
Secure remote access is no longer the privilege of a few within the organisation. Previously, it had been restricted to only those that really needed it: members of the IT team, key sales people and ‘road warriors’ in the management team, for example. Access was limited to a handful of applications and to corporate devices.
Now, everything has changed. A consolidated and unified approach to remote access is becoming the new design ethos. This brings many advantages to the business, including enhanced productivity, cost reduction and flexibility. But this change also brings new security challenges.
More users, more devices, more gateways
Looking back, securing the original form of remote access seems easy. To extend the network to a corporate device so that a user could access the network just required a new piece of client software. But now that the numbers and types of devices are increasing it is becoming difficult for IT teams to keep up with and support client software.
What is more, these devices are less likely to be owned by the enterprise. The increased use of personal smartphones and tablets compounds the problem, as there may not be the software in place to match each type of device or operating system.
Plus, the changing nature of application delivery means that there is an increased use of Software-as-a-Service. This frequently means a plethora of different gateways from a multitude of applications and devices.
Instead of improving things for the enterprise, the new era of remote access can actually weaken security and undermine user experience.
But there is an answer: Unity through consolidation
There is an evident need to consolidate remote access to prevent security issues diminishing the benefits of the universal mobility.
That is why Citrix has created a remote access consolidation solution through the combination of NetScaler and Unified Gateway. It allows any user to access any application they need – from Windows to SaaS apps – on any device.
It does this by bringing all aspects of remote access under the control of a single device.
For users, this single solution means a single URL from which to connect to all their enterprise web, mobile, cloud and client-server applications. So they have a consistent way of working that will ensure they stay productive.
For IT teams, a single solution for device, application and network remote access allows a unified policy that can be applied consistently to any user or application. It makes admin simpler because there is just one point of control. Devices can be allowed onto the network or into applications based on trustworthiness. With less infrastructure to maintain, there is also the potential for more granular security capabilities. That gives IT teams the peace of mind that remote access will continue to adhere to regulatory obligations and meet the security standards set by on-premise access.
The added benefits
For the enterprise as a whole, reducing the number and type of gateway devices reduces the cost and complexity of managing remote access.
Now that secure remote access has become critical to businesses of all sizes and sectors, getting it right is important. And doing so can have far-reaching benefits for the organisation, including:
- Helping recruit and retain the best staff as they are no longer restricted to a single location.
- Reducing real estate costs.
- Mitigating unforeseen scenarios that might affect competitive businesses (e.g. natural disasters).
- Changing the way the business offers resources, offering the security guarantees to be more flexible in deploying new apps.
- Adding agility to the way the enterprise operates in the market, enabling a faster response to shifts in the business landscape.