Remote access: 5 questions you need to ask – and get answered

Marc Thaler

Before buying a car, it’s smart to take it for a test drive. Prior to purchasing a house, scheduling a home inspection is advised. Hiring a new employee typically starts with interviewing candidates to determine who is best fit for the job.

Those are all examples of doing your homework.

Here’s one more: Asking some simple but significant questions before migrating your business to a remote access system – and making sure you are satisfied with the answers.

The volume and variety of initial questions depends on how deep you are looking to dig. But there are certain questions that should appear on your checklist. Let’s start with the five that follow – and apply them to our fully hosted IT security and management platform.

This exercise requires going straight to the source: David Ianetta. He is a LOGICnow sales engineer, who shared his insight in this blog post about making better use of business bandwidth.

How stable is the application?
The ControlNow dashboard has a 99.9% uptime service level agreement (SLA). You want assurance that your dashboard is accessible around the clock. That’s the whole point of having a cloud-based solution. You aren’t dependent on hardware to access the dashboard.

“It has a very light footprint. I barely notice it on my machines,” Ianetta says. “It doesn’t utilize many resources so it doesn’t interfere. During the trial, they can look under ‘monitoring’ to see what kind of resources it's using.”

How functional and efficient is remote access?
Remote access is quick and simple. It enables you to interface with users’ sessions, communicate via chat, transfer files and even record sessions through a secure connection.

“Because it’s a rebranding of TeamViewer, it’s the Cadillac of remote access,” Ianetta says. “It’s two clicks and you’re in.”

Is it difficult to deploy the agent to my clients?
The agent is easily deployed two ways. One option is via group policy in an Active Directory (AD) domain. If a domain is unavailable, the other option is by building an installation package that essentially acts as a silent installer, which can be put on the network or a thumb drive, for example.

“The agent is the only time you can really touch the machine because the agent installs all the services for you,” Ianetta says.

How functional is the interface when managing multiple environments?
The dashboard is intuitive and easy to use. In fact, its purpose is to supply IT pros with a significant amount of relevant information, making their jobs of managing multiple environments in real time easier.

“Policies can be applied to groups. It’s as easy as creating a policy, assigning a group, and assigning that machine to a group,” Ianetta says.

What are the security features?
The multi-layered approach to IT security and management is essential. A comprehensive platform should include three components: antivirus, patch management and web protection.

Here’s why those elements, originally published in a guest post for Windows IT Pro, are essential:

Antivirus – New viruses are constantly introduced on the Internet. Antivirus software prevents, or detects and removes, malicious programs designed to compromise your server, and the machines and devices that connect to it.

Patch management – Patches are security updates meant to address vulnerabilities in software that malware could otherwise exploit. Automated patching ensures all systems and machines are fully protected.

Web protection – According to Verizon’s DBIR, 'the majority of crimeware incidents start via web activity,' which speaks to the need for powerful web filtering that prevents users from visiting suspicious sites.”

Here’s one last question – although it’s for you to answer rather than ask: Are you interested in learning more?