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Remote Access Security: A Must-have Component in Enterprise Access Management

Recent trend

Quite recently, large IT giants have been requesting their employees to come back to offices and re-establish the pre-pandemic culture of “work from the office”. There are two major reasons behind this initiative.

  • Re-build the habit of better and more transparent coordination and communication between peers and colleagues to handle critical assignments faster
  • Prevent the ongoing trend of moonlighting among white-collar professionals—in fact, organizations are apprehensive about the chances of the working hours being exploited by their employees

Having said this, most employees are still allowed to work remotely for 2-3 days and the rest of the time from office premises. As a result, the “Work-From-Anywhere” (WFA) concept has evolved, it is universal, and it is likely to be the new norm going forward.

However, in this evolving scenario, what about the IT security aspect, especially in the access management domain? The IT environment includes both on-prem and remote conditions. Even if organizations are well-equipped with secure access control mechanisms and well-defined IT security policies in on-premises environments, what about the security aspects of remote work conditions? End-users, especially privileged users, require access to critical systems and applications from home (or anywhere) to ensure uninterrupted IT operations.

Hence, remote access security has become a must-have component in the enterprise access management practice.

What is the Challenge?

For more than a couple of quarters, we have left behind the global pandemic days. Yet, IT security, IT risk, and compliance management teams face the challenge of how to reinforce the security measures for access control in remote work conditions. The primary reason is, as said already, the advent and popularity of the work-from-anywhere culture. While organizations have realized that working remotely is also a way to ensure business continuity, remote access threats, especially privileged-level threats, still linger.

A very common ambiguity in remote work conditions is “to whom to allow privileged access.” That too, for which system, at what time, and for what purpose? As a result, insider threats and unauthorized third-party threats intensify. The most common use cases among them are:

  • Weak or inadequate access control policies cannot ensure that all the accesses happening in the enterprise IT environment are authorized. Malicious actors misuse this loophole and compromise privileged accounts.

 

  • Absence of robust end-user validation mechanism like Multi-factor authentication fails to identify authorized and genuine users accessing critical systems in the enterprise network. Suspicious and unreliable third-party users remain unidentified because of this.

 

  • Employees access business-critical applications with ‘always-on’ privileges. There is absence of access control framework such as access based only on ‘need-to-know’ and ‘need-to-do’ basis or granular access controls. 

The solution: ARCON Global Secure Remote Access 

ARCON’s Global Remote Access (GRA) solution ensures a secure enterprise IT environment by reducing the unproductive hours of IT operations like time taken to respond to functional glitches raised by end-users while working remotely.

Moreover, while permitting users to have privileged rights by the IT security team, the hours lost during the transition can be eradicated with the automated GRA tool. This privilege elevation happens in a secure manner. It enhances the enterprise IT lifecycle management by managing every possible remote assistance provided to the end-users. Here are the benefits of the GRA solution in WFA conditions.

  • The IT administrators drive a remote session only after an approval and user validation check done by the tool. The admins completely possess the rights to pause or terminate the access rights if any anomaly is suspected. However, the duration of the elevated rights can be extended if required.

 

  • Any kind of confidential file/ data transfer is always restricted by GRA unless the end-users request for it on valid operational ground and reviewed by the risk management team. It indirectly prevents chances of data loss. Once the process is over, the designated file access rights are revoked immediately to prevent standing privilege.

 

  • The IT admins can simplify the task of tracking the end-user activities and generate a report of all the remote activities performed on each and every system. It generates video logs of every remote session and thereby helps in regular audit trails and compliance.

 

  • During situation-based ad hoc requirements, the administrators need not reveal the login credentials to the end-users who are given elevated access rights for any application/ system for a specified time. It helps to follow the principle of least privilege.

 

  • GRA helps IT admins to remotely enable password rotation policy for the end-users frequently. It ensures least intervention and thereby prevents every unauthorized access.

 

Conclusion

“Work-From-Anywhere” is going to stay. In order to address the inherent  risks associated with remote work conditions, Global Remote Access (GRA) is an effective and must-have solution for today’s enterprises to manage and control remote users across different geographical locations. 

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