On-Demand Remote Support and Why IT’s Easier.

Jun 10 2010   11:12AM GMT

5 Keys to Secure Remote Support

LogMeInRescue Lee Weiner Profile: LogMeInRescue

The increase in the number of people using smartphones is astounding. Everywhere I go people are scrolling through emails, downloading apps, collaborating with colleagues and conducting business. And simply stated, these users expect their smartphones and computers to work, so they can work.


IT faces the challenge of meeting that expectation and keeping end users productive and therefore satisfied. However, the challenge is also to do this in a way that’s efficient, cost effective and secure.


Many IT organizations are using legacy tools like RDP and VNC to try and support mobile users.  These tools don’t work in today’s scenario with so many users off the LAN, and using mobile devices like iPads and Netbooks. Frustrating, time consuming phone based support is not effective for both the technician and the end user. Moreover, the high cost of shipping coupled with productivity losses make sending a device back to corporate an unreasonable choice.


New tools are required for IT to embrace and empower the mobile workers.  These tools can enable a technician to quickly connect, diagnose and solve problems on desktops, laptops, netbooks and smartphones.  An important consideration when migrating to these new IT tools is to consider security of the solution as IT will be accessing corporate information in a way they haven’t before. 


So what are the top 5 key considerations of remotely supporting a mobile worker in a secure way? Here’s what to look for when you may be outside the friendly confines of the firewall. 


1.       Access

Look for a remote support solution that leverages identity management systems to provide simplified login to the system using single-sign-on, and also allows techs to securely sign in with existing authentication methods. Think about how you can limit the number of identities required in the organization, and also minimize the number of passwords stored and managed. 


To implement this level of control and access management, look to solutions that leverage industry standards for simple integration, such as SAML. 


2.       Permission

Remote support should employ a permission based model where the end user grants permission for the technician to remotely access that smartphone, PC or Mac to quickly resolve the issue. This acts as a handshake between the end user and the technician.


3.       Encryption

Supporting the anytime, anywhere worker means being able to connect over the internet, beyond the LAN, and that connection between the tech and end user must use the highest encryption standards possible. Many solutions use public protocols such as HTTP to establish a connection; and using 256-bit SSL to secure these protocols can ensure data confidentiality. 


4.       Compliance

Helpdesks of all sizes need to be able to quickly and accurately provide an audit trail of remote support activity to ensure compliance of corporate IT governance policies.  In the event of a security audit, they should be able to determine what machines were accessed, what problems were solved, and any files that were transferred.


5.       Administration

Granular administrative capabilities can help ensure a secure remote support solution.  Administrators must be able to control what support sessions get routed to which technicians and which technicians can perform certain support tasks. This not only controls access rights of technicians, but it can mitigate data loss and inappropriate use of the system by non-authorized technicians.


When using a remote support solution that implements the components described above, the helpdesk can effectively troubleshoot smartphones, PCs and Macs on or off the LAN quickly and securely to ensure the mobile worker stay productive.




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