reggiep (30th March 2011)
We are currently looking at Remote Access Solutions for both Students and Staff (primarily staff, but students would be nice as well)
Obviously we've looked at Rack Mount VPN Solutions for instance, but for the number of users inc Students, this would cost rather a lot.
One other thing which recently caught my attention was the Home Access Plus system that is available (including seen on Edugeek)
Home Access Plus+
My main query/concern with this though, is how secure is it?
One other option which I saw yesterday, is we are currently looking to change our VLE, and we had a demo of FROG. FROG have an additional "add on" which allows Secure Remote Access to both files, and software on the Network, all securely.
What are your thoughts? Which would you go for?
Would appreciate feedback, and opinions.
Are you an Home Access Plus school, how secure do you feel it is?
reggiep (30th March 2011)
Never used home access plus but you have adito/open vpn-als which does exactly what you want from the web browsers and is completely free. maybe worth looking at?
In my experience, the Frog Secure Gateway doesn't work most of the time, access to network files doesn't work at all.
Weve had lots of issues with Frog which they seem unable to resolve for us, hence we are seriously contemplating a move to another platform.
If you're a schools agreement holder, seriously look into using RDS on Server 2008 R2. Depending on how many clients you need to provide remote access for, it can be set up fairly easily and is very cost effective and secure.
andy_d (30th March 2011)
Home access plus is a hosted website so it is as secure as an ssl connection... (we have 4 internally hosted websites that are published using our ISA with ssl - they are as secure as the usernames and passwords that are used to access the site)
For file hosting in terms of home access plus is also just as secure as your ntfs security
So the short of it is, is that if we enforce stronger password integrity for staff users, then it should be fine?
I see Home Access Plus also has a login tracker as well, so I guess if you keep an eye on that you can see if you have any "odd" attempted activity going on etc
I'll have another look at it shortly.
Do any other schools use this on non RM?
We're on a Vanilla Server 2008 Network
The logon tracker will only work internally unfortunately it is better to use the IIS logs for this purpose.
We are a vanilla 2003 network and although not currently using HAP+ fully will be looking to move to it in the near future.
We are a vanilla 2003 network with HAP+ installed, and it works fine.
Been trialing HAP for a few months at work, and going to roll it out after Easter to two faculties and its been a great success, stick an SSL Certificate on IIS and then bobs your aunty
HAP+ is only has secure as the passwords users use, as with anything. Since the website impersonates the logged on user, you get all of the NTFS security there in. HAP will work on HTTP, but it is highly recommended to use HTTPS as the username/passwords are sent in clear (IIS basic auth).
Since the users are only allowed into unc paths that you set, it prevents them from hacking there way into other areas, this is done thankfully but using drive letters in any API call made by HAP's sites rather than full UNC paths.
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