How to Enable Remote Employees to Securely Access On-premises Company Data in Under 1 Hour

Interest in letting employees to work from home has never been higher and will remain high even after the Covid-19 virus has run its course.  For Companies large and small  the key challenge is how to make Company data available remotely in a way that is easy for employees to use without compromising on information security.  The Enterprise File Fabric™ offers an unmatched set of features to support secure remote working.  In this post we’ll see how to set up the File Fabric in less than an hour to provide secure remote access to on-premises data, be that SMB, NAS / SAN or Microsoft DFS shares.  The best part is that data is not copied or removed anywhere, it remains in the same secure place and the File Fabric provides web scale secure access  to it .


We’re going to look at how employees can gain secure access to CIFS/SMB shares remotely for this overview. This is the technical term of how a share from a Windows Filer, NAS or SAN is provided, often manifesting itself to the end user as a home drive or share on the users desktop.   Note that we could also have attached Microsoft DFS, Amazon S3, Azure, Google Storage and many other kinds of file, block or object storage.  The File Fabric was built to support multi-cloud from the ground up and easily manages all different kinds of storage, independently or side by side.

(20 mins.) DEPLOY THE ENTERPRISE FILE FABRIC VM 

We are using VMWare to host the File Fabric software Appliance for this overview but we also provide images for KVM, Hyper-V and and an AMI image for AWS:

 

(10 mins.) CONFIGURE CIFS/SMB FOR AUTO-PROVISIONING

This involves configuring the File Fabric’s external authorization feature. We will set ours up to work with an existing LDAP Identity Management system on which users already have their accounts:

I will also set it to add users to the File Fabric the first time they log in with their LDAP/AD credentials. This means no pre-configuration of users into the File Fabric – a huge timesaver !

and to automatically connect each user to their home directory:

(Those two steps will save your administrators a ton of time!)

 

(10 mins.) SET SECURITY AND GOVERNANCE POLICIES

The File Fabric offers a comprehensive array of security and governance options that are applied and enforced across consistently across all of the different kinds of storage that are attached to it.   Here are three of our favourites:

Two Factor Authentication


FIPS Compliant Encryption for Data at Rest


File Sharing Policies

Remember: these are just three of our favourites.  The File Fabric can enforce a multitude of security and governance policies established by your organization and it has a built in Policy Health Check feature to evaluate how you have fared in your choices.

Data Governance Policies

 

(5 mins.) ROLL OUT TO END USERS

All that’s left to do now is to invite users in.  You can send them a link that they can use to log in over the web and access files over the File Fabric’s web File Manager or you could simply configure a home page screen that they see for the first time when they login that provides instructions.



This can also contain download links so that they can install the File Fabric desktop tools for Mac, Windows or Linux. With those installed, users can access their locally stored content through the File Fabric as a Home Drive, just as they may have done in the office.

 

We have demonstrated how you can set up secure remote access to your enterprise data for your remote workforce in less than one hour.  The capabilities we have shown here are just a small part of what the Enterprise File Fabric™ can do.  If you would like to know more, please contact sales@storagemadeeasy.com

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Dan has been working with Storage Made Easy's founders since the company was launched.