Remote access is defined as the ability to get access to a computer/network from a remote distance. Remote access in work place terms means connecting to your office work from home by following some method. In the modern era it means connecting to your office computer through home or any other destination other than your office. It is of utmost importance to keep in touch with your office work at all times in this modern era. With businesses spread all over the world office timings are not enough to cater to all the needs of a specific job. One has to be connected to his office through home or while traveling to take care of any situation that might arise in the workplace and needs his expertise to manage. Generally an internet connection or a phone line is required for connection with the office computer. A portable device for providing internet connection is required to work while traveling.Introduction
The Virtual private network (VPN) has been selected as the communication method for remote access in our company. VPN is a private network developed by a corporation which uses a public network (internet) to connect remote employees and distant offices together. VPN does not use a dedicated real world connection (such as leased line) instead it uses a VPN uses virtual connections that are connected through the internet from the company's private network to the workstation of the employee (remote site). The methods used to keep the VPN as secure as possible are as follows.
- AAA Server
The firewall is the most basic and effective method of security. It provides a strong barrier between the private network and the Internet.
While sending data from one workstation to another encryption will be used so that data that is being exchanged is secure and cannot be accessed or compromised in any way.
Authorization is required for accessing the VPN so that only an employee of the company with an assigned username and password can access his or her office workstation. This also makes sure that one person of the company cannot access any other employee's data through the use of VPN. He or she can only access their own office workstation and any other public data that is available in the office to him/her according to his authorization.
AAA (authentication, authorization and accounting) servers are used for more security in VPN. When a request is made to establish a connection from a employee, the request is forwarded to the AAA server. AAA then checks the following things:
- Which employee accessing (authentication)
- What are his access levels (authorization)
- What the employee actually does (accounting)
It is mandatory for the employees to submit all their work via VPN to the office work station and any work saved on the home workstation should be password protected and be deleted when it exceeds its time of use.
Advantages of VPN usage
The company can have many benefits by having its employees work some part of the week at home. Some of them are listed
- Reducing layoffs
- Widening Employment Opportunities
- Avoiding Interruption
- Decreasing Stress and Strain
- Lesser space occupancy
- Better interaction with Clients
More people can be kept employed for example parents with childcare responsibilities can be retained. Maternity leaves can also be cut short with the use of VPN. Even if a person is on leave and an urgent issue comes up, VPN can always save the day.
Bright Individuals with disability are at times ignored while recruiting. But with the use of VPN employees can do office work from wherever and whenever they are comfortable. Hence widening the option to give job to disabled individuals.
In office a person may face many interruptions like workplace discussion garrulous colleague etc. By using VPN we can work at a peaceful environment where we feel less interrupted.
Office stress in itself is a vast topic. With VPN, office work can be taken and done anywhere but office. This reduces strain and pressure of an employee resulting in greater productivity by the employee and also ensuing reduction in sickness level.
With the growing population and multinationals around the world, Organizations have to look for a place wherever they want to set up an office. This takes both the valuable time and space. Instead, with VPN we can hire individuals from any part of the world and they can remotely perform their jobs without even taking up extra space
In businesses or any organization for that matter, Clients are the utmost priority. Sometime it is difficult to reach a distant client. But with VPN, instead of moving to and fro from client to office or setting up our system on client side, we can work close to like exactly like we would work in our own office.Disadvantages of using VPN
There are also a number of potential disadvantages but they are outweighed by afore mentioned advantages of working from home. Some of them are
- It is difficult to manage home workers and monitor their performance compared to the employees working in offices
- It is possible that the skills and work quality of the employee might deteriorate.
- Time is wasted in VPN training's initially. Providing suitable equipment, including adaptations to meet health and safety standards and the needs of disabled employees also take up some time.
- It is difficult to maintain staff development and upgrade skills when employees are not working a common point i.e. office.
- As the information will be continuously online due to usage of VPN there are some risks involving information-security problems
- VPN requires constant connectivity resulting in increase in telecommunications costs
- Might cause hazard in communication and a risk that sense of isolation among home workers mite arise
- Working together in office always builds up a team spirit, which might be endangered with the use of VPN.
- Have Windows XP or Windows 2000 installed on your home workstation.
- Install the VPN software that is available on the company's main server.
- Have a fast and reliable internet connection
- Get a username and password from an authorized supervisor as assigned by the company for connecting via VPN.
- Have the company's standard firewall installed on the workstation that you will use. It is available on the company's main server.
For setting up a VPN connection for remote access the following requirements have to be met.
Mobile VPN's are to be used by employees for working on the move for example while traveling. Mobile VPN's is the situation in which the endpoint of a VPN is not fixed to a single IP address but instead roams across various networks such as data networks from cellular carriers or as between multiple WI-FI access points.
Following requirements have to be met for accessing VPN via mobile
- Employees mobile phone should have GPRS capabilities to access the internet
- Employees mobile phone should have Microsoft office
- Compatible Data cable to transfer work from mobile to laptop and vice versa.
- Employees should have internet access at all times for their mobiles.
- Standard Firewall should be installed in the mobile
- Get a username and password from an authorized supervisor as assigned by the company for connecting to the VPN via mobile.
- How Virtual Private Networks Work by Jeff Tyson http://www.howstuffworks.com/vpn.htm
- Practical Advice for Business http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?type=RESOURCES&itemId=1074447134
- Phifer, Lisa. Mobile VPN: Closing the gap, SearchMobileComputing.com.