How does NetConnect compare?

Already using a remote access solution, but wondering whether there could be a better option? Let us show you what we think…

NetConnect can be different things to different people as it solves a variety of problems.

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If you’re in the market for a security, remote access, mobility or BYOD software solution, you’ve come to the right place. NetConnect enables and actively empowers workplaces to embrace new ways of working, without the need for complex migration, deployment, or organisational change.

To see how NetConnect compares with your current solution or stacks up against other mobility products in the market, explore our comparison breakdowns below.

NetConnect vs MDM

NetConnect has a different philosophy to Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions; a view to make device integration simpler and more secure.

MDM solutions can be essential when it comes to managing a large fleet of hardware devices, however, has two major shortfalls:

    1. By giving full control of the device to IT, companies often alienate their staff, requiring strict management policies before coming into play. In many cases, employees will flat out refuse to give IT control over their personal device, subsequently rendering the MDM solution useless in implementing a BYOD solution. This results in the organization having to support the large cost of providing mobile devices to employees, when it could have been far simpler, easier, and just as secure to allow access on their own device.
    2. MDM solutions focus on managing the device, not on what the user needs to do with it. As a result, they often present a poor user experience, and rarely provide direct productivity benefits to end users.

The NetConnect Solution

NetConnect takes a very different approach. NetConnect focuses on providing an enjoyable end user experience by enabling users to work from their mobile device as if they were at their desk.

By ensuring data never leaves the corporate environment, NetConnect removes the need to control the end user device. Should a device be misplaced or stolen, no data is lost, and sensitive company information is not at risk.
NetConnect is compatible with any device, and allows employees to use their device of choice. As a result, companies can enable BYOD simply, without taking risks with company data.

NetConnect and MDM can even live side by side. A number of NetConnect customers have a MDM solution to manage the physical hardware of their corporate mobile device fleet, and use NetConnect to enable connectivity to their corporate network, enabling access from MDM-managed devices and BYOD devices alike.

NetConnect vs VPN

NetConnect behaves very differently from a traditional VPN, and simplifies the lives of end users and IT administrators alike.

Where a VPN focuses on connecting devices to the network, NetConnect focuses on connecting users to their applications. This becomes apparent in many different ways:

User Experience

A traditional firewall VPN is designed to connect devices to the network, with very little focus on the user. VPNs deliver adequate solutions for users carrying corporate laptops, however they are more difficult to use from devices that are not part of internal IT networks.

Despite having connection instructions provided by IT, users need to rely on several pre-configuration steps before being able to work:

  • Set up the VPN on the device – requires specific software be loaded on the device, often requiring some level of technical expertise.
  • Work out how to run a remote desktop connection and access their files – often a task left to be deciphered on their own.
  • Removal of VPN configuration – To ensure company data is not at risk, the connection needs to be terminated.

All these configuration steps rely on the user’s ability to deal with technology, and requires a significant amount of time before users can work remotely.

Security

VPNs are very sensitive to network security and often will not work on public networks, such as those found in hotels. A traditional firewall VPN solution has two fundamental flaws when it comes to security:

  • The device may communicate freely with the network after a successful connection (unless a very specific configuration has been put in place by IT), however, if the device has been compromised, this can become a gateway for any virus or trojan. When the device is connected to the internet and to the internal network at the same time, skilled hackers can take advantage and use this as a point of entry to the network.
  • Should a network-connected device be lost or stolen, valuable company data is susceptible to whomever opens the device up next.

IT Management

While setting up a VPN server can be a relatively easy task, securing the server can become a serious source of pain for IT Administrators. Instructing users on setup operations for new devices becomes complex, and difficulty to control the devices increases. IT Administrators find themselves choosing between restricting access to authorised devices to reduce the risk, or spending large amounts of time supporting users and monitoring access to control the risk.

NetConnect vs Remote Desktop

NetConnect does not compete with Remote Desktop. Rather, NetConnect enhances Remote Desktop by making it more secure and easier to use for end users.

To provide access to all users to their resources, a Remote Desktop server can either be:

1. Protected behind a VPN
The implications of a VPN are many – see our section “How does NetConnect compare with a VPN”.

2. Accessible via a remote desktop Gateway
Whilst this can provide a good level of security, this will require specific configuration steps for users trying to connect from mobile devices. Additionally, to provide each user access to their personal desktop, IT administrators will be required to set up one separate application per user, which rapidly becomes impractical in large environments.

3. Connected directly to the Internet
As per below, this is probably the worst solutions of all!

Security

The Microsoft Remote Desktop server is deployed across the globe. Its primary purpose is to enable multiple users to work on the same server at the same time – and it does it exceptionally well. However, its popularity has made it one of the most attacked products on the planet. Its well-known port is regularly scanned by bots, and any remote desktop server available directly on the Internet will quickly become the target of multiple attacks. Even if the server is hardened and maintained, hackers usually try the brute force attack system, using standard usernames and passwords until they can break in.

End User Experience

Remote Desktop requires users have specific applications be installed on their device. This application (usually the remote desktop client) and its installation method will be different depending on the device. Once installed, the user will need to configure each server connection separately, within the remote desktop client.

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