Avoid Unsecure Access to Office PC’s via RDP while Working From Home

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, corporations around the world have been forced to focus on the well-being of their employees while balancing workforce productivity and effectiveness. More and more companies have adopted work from home strategies. However, work from home strategies introduce new infrastructure and security concerns, especially for corporations that fall under certain regulatory requirements.

In traditional office environments, most organizations provide physical desktop PCs to most of their employees and laptops are only issued to a select few. Given how quickly organizations have had to adopt work from home policies, many corporations have simply allowed access to office desktops or other corporate resources using a normal VPN and RDP. Providing traditional VPN access to work-from-home user with their personal devices pose serious security threats.

Challenges from this approach

Extending a traditional or existing VPN access to remote employees requires installation and pre-configuration on the end users’ devices. Therefore, a lot of time and effort are required by IT teams to roll out Work From Home (WFH) solutions.

WFH employees are expected to use RDP clients on their personal or corporate issued devices to connect to their office desktop or corporate resources. This approach requires end user training and also introduces new support hurdles for the IT staff. Utilizing this process allows employees to not only access their desktop but also other corporate data where files can be downloaded, copied or manipulated without IT oversight.

Allowing access from personal devices to the corporate infrastructure introduces further security threats. Normal VPN or free-to-use solutions do not have the features to assess potential threats in remote endpoint devices. Personal devices may not meet the corporate or regulatory security standards. This access potentially introduces viruses or malware into the corporate network.

Organizations that fall under regulatory compliance guidelines face major challenges to protect against data leaks. Giving access over traditional VPN’s present major data compliance and security risks. To address these challenges, organizations should ensure that the Work From Home they choose provide the following features:

Minimum IT intervention: For remote users, the process to access office desktops should be easy so that they don’t require much IT administration.

Control of user access: The solution should be able to log on a user to a particular desktop. This will provide protection even if the user shares credentials with others, no unauthorized user can log into the office desktop from any other device.

End-point security: The solution should provide end-point security scan functionality to decide whether a device is safe or not. It should be able to ascertain that there is no malware or the user, at least, has the basic security on his or her personal device, such as anti-virus and Windows updates, etc.

Automated connection: The work from home solution should provide an automated way to connect to office desktops so that users only have access their office desktop, and not other IP addresses in the network.

Simple steps to link: Users should be able to connect to their desktop using RDP through a point–and–click process and they are not required to remember IP addresses or host names. They can connect to their desktop without any or with little training.

Prevent leakages: The solution should be able to restrict or prevent file download and upload functions, copy-paste and clipboard functions. It should allow policy control so that users cannot download any data into their personal machines.

Data control features: There should have capabilities to prevent users from recording desktop activities or taking screen shots of their desktops while they are connected to the corporate network.

Check Internet Access: The solution should also have the ability to block access to the internet while the users are connected to the corporate network. This will ensure that users cannot give remote control of his device to anyone else while working on the corporate infrastructure.

Organizations should evaluate all these features while deploying a VPN solution for work from home users to ensure data security and compliance.
AmZettas’ Work From Home Solution addresses each of these challenges.

The zPortal Workspaces Suite offers a compliant work from home solution that enables the workforce to stay productive from home and secures corporate data. AmZettas’ Remote Desktop-based solution enables organizations to provide secure access to office desktops from the device of the user’s choice.

Key features:

Provide Access to office desktops: Enable users to securely connect to their desktop using personal device of choice. Employees get instant access in a Zero Trust environment to enterprise data and business applications

Device Entry Control: Allow only approved devices to access corporate resources. Mitigate issues with BYOD for remote access

Data Control Features: Block data exchange between user PC and office desktop, data download, copy-paste, print-screen and screen recording. Also, it can completely block or selectively enable Internet

Enable Strong MFA: Quickly enables strong authentication for secure access.

zPortal Workspace Suite enables organizations to quickly set up work from home solutions and keep their businesses running securely, efficiently and effortlessly.