What is remote computer access?

Acronis Cyber Protect Connect
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Remote computer access lets you use a computer or network that is outside of your physical presence. Many businesses leverage remote computer access tools to allow workers to access computer desktops and files from any location, at any time. Yet doing so can create security risks for these businesses, their employees and their customers.

How does remote access work?

Remote access involves linking a remote user to a host computer via the internet. To do so, you can download and install remote access software on both local and remote computers. From here, the local computer can access the remote computer and run applications, manage updates and perform other tasks.

Usage of remote computer access

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led many companies to let employees work remotely. Meanwhile, companies increasingly adopted remote computer access technology during the crisis. Research indicates there was a 50% increase in the use of remote access technology in the United States between February and June of 2020.

Do not expect the push for remote computer access technology to slow down any time soon. The pandemic is ongoing, and many are embracing remote work as part of the "new normal" of today's business world. As the pandemic approaches its conclusion, companies may continue to allow their employees to work remotely or shift to a hybrid work model. In either scenario, remote computer access technology will play a key role in helping employees remain productive, regardless of their physical location.

Along with the pandemic, the need to keep business IT costs as low as possible has driven demand for remote access solutions.

Companies frequently search for ways to limit their IT costs. Yet if a company has a defective computer, it may need to hire a technician to repair it. At this time, the cost of the repair can be substantial, due in part to the fact that a technician has to travel to the business to complete the work.

Remote access software enables IT technicians to conduct computer repairs and other work without limitations. Technicians can use the software to access a user's device and identify any problems from anywhere in the world. This ensures technicians can complete device repairs quickly and efficiently. Moreover, companies can avoid the costs of hiring technicians for on-site work.

Let's not forget about the need to access business documents and files as well. With remote access tools, employees can view and edit business documents and files in real time. As a result, the tools are helping companies become more productive and efficient than ever before. And they look poised to continue to do so long into the future.

What are the benefits for companies to have remote access?

1. You can provide your employees with anywhere, anytime access to business computers and networks.

Remote access opens doors for businesses. It lets you provide workers with real-time access to your business computers and networks from anywhere in the world. As a result, you can hire and retain remote employees. And they can access all of the business information they need to complete tasks on schedule and on budget.

2. You can keep your business data secure.

Remote computer access technology provides a secure alternative to letting your workers access company networks and systems on their own devices. You can use remote access technology to ensure only authorized personnel can access various networks and systems. At the same time, you can see who accesses these networks and systems. The result: you can minimize the risk of data breaches.

3. You can help your workers become more productive than ever before.

Thanks to remote computer access technology, your workers can seamlessly get their jobs done. Your employees can quickly and securely access the information they need, exactly when they need it. This ensures your workers can focus on completing their everyday tasks with precision and care and maximizing their productivity.

4. Your workers can develop and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

With remote access technology, you can give your workers the flexibility to complete tasks at times that align with their personal schedules. Your employees can use the technology to perform work from the comfort of home or any other remote location. This means your employees won't have to travel far to work. Plus, your employees are well-equipped to establish and maintain a healthy work-life balance. In this instance, your company can boost its employee satisfaction and retention rates, too.  

5. You won't have to break your budget to leverage remote computer access technology.

Remote computer access technology is available to small and large organizations alike. You can select remote access tech that has features that align with your business requirements. You won't have to worry about purchasing hardware for remote access tech. In addition, you won't have to commit significant time, energy and resources to use and maintain this tech, either.

Is remote access secure?

Your remote access security depends on the technology you use. Common remote access technologies include:

1. Virtual private network (VPN)

A VPN uses OpenVPN (Open-Source Virtual Private Network); PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol); L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol); and other protocols to connect users to a network. You can set up a VPN that lets employees’ VPN connect to a private network via the internet. Or, you can provide a VPN with site-to-site connectivity to link multiple networks across the internet.

2. Zero trust network access (ZTNA)

ZTNA solutions create an identity- and context-based boundary around private applications. They ensure applications cannot be discovered. Meanwhile, you can use a ZTNA solution to restrict access to applications across a remote user base. The solution ensures your users can connect to private applications without exposing them to the internet.

3. Endpoint security

Antivirus, firewall and other security technologies can be incorporated into an endpoint security solution. Together, these technologies detect signs of malicious activity across any devices on your network, and they can prevent cybercriminals from breaching your network and accessing your sensitive data.

4. Single sign on (SSO)

SSO technology ensures a user requires only one set of login credentials to access a wide range of business applications. The technology limits the number of usernames and passwords that an employee needs to use to remotely access these applications. It can also ensure that only authorized personnel can access designated apps.

5. Privileged access management (PAM)

A PAM solution consists of tools for securing, managing and monitoring access to data in your privileged accounts. The solution gives you a glimpse into how remote users are viewing and managing your data.

Remote access technology offers no guarantees — particularly when it comes to security. If you use an unsecure remote access tool, you risk exposing sensitive data to cybercriminals. In this scenario, hackers may find remote access security gaps. At this point, they can exploit these gaps to penetrate your networks and systems.

If you're considering remote access technology, you need to review your options carefully. It pays to work with a technology provider with a proven reputation for delivering best-in-class remote access tech. Furthermore, this provider should have no trouble implementing the technology across your workforce and ensuring your business can maximize its value.

You should also partner with a remote access technology provider that can consistently protect your business against cyberattacks. The cyberthreat landscape is evolving, and your remote access technology provider should be able to secure your business against the latest threats. It can ensure your remote access tech is up to date and verify that it meets your expectations.

Get started with remote access technology from Acronis

If you want remote access technology, Acronis can help. We offer Acronis Cyber Protect Connect designed for today's mobile and remote work environments.

Acronis Cyber Protect Connect is a remote desktop and monitoring solution that enables you to easily access and manage remote workloads and fix any issues – anytime, anywhere. We encourage you to check out Acronis Cyber Protect Connect — click here for a free 15-day trial.

About Acronis

Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 1,800 employees in 45 locations. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.

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