Working from Home

Up to the middle of March 2020, most organizations only needed to support a small number of remote users concurrently. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that seemed to change overnight. IT worked quickly to put in place solutions that would now allow entire organizations to work from home. In doing so, two challenges were confronted.

The first challenge was how to support users who brought work computers home? The solution to this challenge was pretty straight forward in that traditional VPN clients could be used to connect these computers to their work network remotely. For the most part this involved adding remote access licenses to the firewall/VPN, installing the VPN client on work computers and configuring users for remote access.

The second challenge was how to support users who would use homeĀ  computers to connect to their work computers? This challenge was a little more complex as the traditional VPN client mentioned above is not well suited to this task. The ideal solution was one that did not require the installation of a VPN client, did not expose the work network to the home network and was not dependent on the home computer’s operating system.

As a longtime SonicWALL reseller, we knew how to solve the first challenge. As to the second, it wasn’t one we had tackled before but we were thrilled to find they had an excellent solution in the Virtual Office feature of their SSLVPN. In short, this feature enabled users to access their work computers through a web interface alone. As a result, no VPN client needed to be installed, the work network was not exposed to the home network and the solution was not dependent on the home computer’s operating system. Working with one of our municipal customers, we had a working solution in place for their entire organization within two hours.

If you’re still looking for a solution to these challenges or are not happy with what you have today, let us know by submitting and S.O.S. in the sidebar. We’d love to have the opportunity to help!

Randy Schultz
President – Vigil Networks, Inc.
rschultz@vigilnetworks.com

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