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March 29, 2017

Why is Smart and Secure Remote Access Underestimated?

I don’t know about you but I’ve spent a lot of time watching great NCAA March Madness games in the last two weeks. During the repeated commercials, my mind has wandered to similar challenges faced by athletes aspiring to get to the Final Four and IT professionals trying to solve technology issues under tremendous pressure.  The teams heading to the Final Four may not have the top projected picks in the 2017 NBA Draft but you can be assured that these overlooked players will bring their “A game” to Phoenix just like Mike Runda, president of Avaya (News - Alert) Client Services scores a slam dunk with his latest  blog.

For too many IT departments, the power of remote connectivity is underestimated much like these remaining players in the most exciting basketball tournament in the world. In his most recent blog, Mike discusses the three key attributes that IT managers should demand of a remote access solution. Before you choose your communications solution, make sure that the provider’s connectivity into your enterprise is smart, secure and gives you full control.

Secure remote access connectivity is the foundational component of resolving complex network issues. Mike describes how the lack of understanding of how the security and control features of remote connectivity functioned at a major global financial institution led to a full court press (a.k.a. escalations) by both teams. Once both teams got together and discussed the power and security of remote connectivity, the issue was quickly fixed. As Mike says, working together is a two-way street. 

Achieving Secure, Mission-Critical Technical Support is a Two-Way Street

Mike Runda, Avaya Client Services

Recently, a major global financial institution encountered a pretty disruptive network issue. Avaya support technicians encountered roadblocks in resolving the issue, and the customer’s IT personnel were unhappy. As the issue escalated through Avaya support channels, it quickly became apparent that the customer’s internal security policies were thwarting Avaya efforts to look into the customer’s system to solve the problem.

You see, their IT personnel were not allowed to give Avaya technicians network access to capture the information necessary to properly diagnose and repair the issue. Cybersecurity was the concern. Avaya and the customer struggled for nearly a week without resolution.

To break the stalemate, a senior Avaya executive called the customer’s CIO and explained that without proper access, Avaya couldn’t resolve the issue. Once we explained how we secure the connection, the CIO gave permission, our remote access solution was brought online, the issue was diagnosed within 30 minutes, and then it was immediately resolved.

Three Keys to a Secure Remote Access Solution

Similar scenarios can be avoided if customer decision makers ask important questions upfront, before they buy technology solutions, about the measures their vendors take to provide both high-quality support services and security. Typically that will involve some sort of solution that provides remote network access. At Avaya, we call it Secure Access Link. Our Secure Access Link Gateway (News - Alert) is the remote connectivity method that enables us to deliver rapid problem resolution, problem prevention, and solution optimization.

But not all solutions are equal. As you consider your next technology solution, consider the three key attributes of secure remote access:

  1. First, it should be smart. 
    There should be flexible deployment options with minimal hardware and software requirements. It should enable efficient and timely delivery of service packs for software updates and easily integrate with automated and advanced diagnostics solutions. And when support is required, it should allow your personnel to connect with the vendor’s experts with a single click.
  2. You should have complete control.
    The solution should give you total approval/denial control over who accesses your network. If you do grant access, the solution should track and provide a detailed log of support activity so you see which vendor personnel did what and when while logged onto your network. 
  3. It should provide high-level security. 
    The solution should have no inbound connections into your enterprise—all connections should be strictly outbound from your datacenter so you have the ultimate control. The solution should feature host containment, to automatically prevent support personnel from host-hopping from server to server. Each support session should be encrypted and then quickly be torn down when concluded. And, finally, the solution should require two-factor or multi-factor authorization by any vendor support personnel who request a support session.

In today’s cyber threat environment, CIOs can’t take chances with the security of their networks, yet they still need rapid and responsive technical support. By asking important questions upfront, you can be assured that your communications solutions are smart, give you control, and provide the level of security you need. So when an issue arises, you can get the support you need, without unnecessary delays.

Is your company making full use of the Avaya Secure Access Link Gateway to optimize and protect your Avaya solutions?

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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