When it comes to network security for large organizations, this sometimes has to be balanced against the ease of access for employees or staff members. If it’s too difficult to access network resources it can interrupt workflow; by the same token, lax security opens up a company to unauthorized access and data theft. However, there are ways to provide remote access to a network without compromising security. One of the most successful methods is to combine remote access technology with the security of port forwarding; here’s how the process works and how it can help keep your company’s network secure and accessible at the same time.


Get Out of the Office


The biggest advantage to having a network set up for remote access means that you can gain access to important information from an otherwise closed network while not being physically present at a local machine. Normally, if you needed to access a networked drive in order to read or modify any files, you would need to be at the office and logged into a networked computer – or using a mobile device authorized to log in to the company’s network via Wi-Fi. However, having remote access privileges means that you can be out of the office and still gain access to any networked files you’ve been authorized to access.

It’s a relatively painless process for the user either at home or traveling: they’re given the Internet address of a networked office computer that’s been set up to be the gateway to the outside world by the organization’s IT department. Then, as the user logs in to this gateway, they gain access to all the areas of the network they would normally be allowed to access while they were actually at the office. It’s an ideal way to telecommute, work from home, or work while on the move.


Keep your Network Secure


Of course, when you open up an otherwise closed network to access from outside, you’ve essentially left the door wide open for unauthorized access to your formerly secure system. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the gateway computer that bridges the gap between remote access connections and the rest of the network has had its router or firewall configured for port forwarding.

Port forwarding is a process that provides an added layer of security to networks. Routers, firewalls, and other network gateway devices have the ability to regulate how network data flows by opening and closing certain ports and then relegating certain types of network data to exclusively use these ports. Port forwarding can therefore stop any unwanted network traffic coming in remotely by limiting it to a specific port number – a number that only those authorized for remote access would have knowledge of. Port forwarding helps to keep a network as secure as possible without cutting off access to the outside completely, and it’s practically a requirement to keep your data safe from unwelcome eyes.