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MIS Systems Thread, Staff Access to SIMS from Home in Technical; Hi All, Our head has requested that we provide SIMS.net access for our teaching staff from home but do not ...
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    Staff Access to SIMS from Home

    Hi All,

    Our head has requested that we provide SIMS.net access for our teaching staff from home but do not want to stump up for the cost of SIMS learning gateway. Has anyone else setup a similar system because I just need a few pointers. Can this be setup through RemoteApp? Some hand holding would be greatly appreciated.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    You could install the Windows VPN Service on a server then its 1 click on the client at home and it all works like your onsite...

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    speckytecky (13th March 2014)

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    Hi Quackers,

    Do I install and configure the Windows vpn service on the actual SIMS.net server. Have you done this at your school?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We deliver it via Citrix XenApp, works well but isn't cheap.

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    No, preferably not. Once you provide VPN connection, it allows the end user access to your network, so they should see the sims server and be able to run SIMS as though they are at school. The speed can be a pain though and it often affects their local browsing of internet if not configured right.

    You might be better off with Terminal Services, or depending on what functionality they require from home, a product from TASC, which is cheaper than SLG and gives you some powerful features.

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    speckytecky (13th March 2014)

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sappling View Post
    Hi Quackers,

    Do I install and configure the Windows vpn service on the actual SIMS.net server. Have you done this at your school?
    We just have a HyperV VM for it. If you want a play plenty of youtube videos for step by step to get one up and running quickly to sample it like Tutorial How to Install VPN Server 2008 R2 - YouTube

    We have Terminal Services, VPN , and 2X/Terminal Services so many options for staff to choose.

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    speckytecky (13th March 2014)

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    We use Teachers Web Folder from Bromcom, Allow most staff to do what they need without using the VPN service.

    There is also a VPN service provided by our LEA internet connection, which is very reliable and staff can connect using Terminal Services to that, if they need full fat SIMS but the majority use TWF, and the PE staff like TWF as we have the mobile interface so they can do their registers in the middle of the field on their phones :-)

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    speckytecky (13th March 2014)

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    We use our FortiGate for VPN handling, ontop of that we just use RDWeb just means people don't have a remote desktop open only the application they were after, which obviously is a lie because it has a RD session open in the background.

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    I have just set up SIMS as a RemoteApp on 2012 R2
    Purchased an SSL certificate
    Works well.

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    speckytecky (13th March 2014)

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    Use our own remote access solution built around RDP but with encrypted App for dual factor Authentication for Staff so they can access SIM's, works well as logs everything as well.

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    We use Remote desktop to the Sims Server. But staff are only allowed to connect with a school owned device not their own personal device.

    Harriuk

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    m19cpb (19th March 2014), speckytecky (13th March 2014)

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    Hey guys sorry to throw a spanner in the works and this applies to me as well we had a data protection official from our local authority in a few weeks back and it was basically a information gathering session between me and our bm and one of the topics that came up was how do you make sure that when members of staff at home are given the potential of access to the system how do you stop people from shoulder looking etc/ leaving the application open to preying eyes etc when they are /not infront of the their system when at home.

    And you know what I most produced a brick lol but you cant and the thing is yes its ok to open the system up to let staff have access to sims from home but remember they have to understand the consequences if sensitive information is leaked

    Just something to think about

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_Cleaver View Post
    Use our own remote access solution built around RDP but with encrypted App for dual factor Authentication for Staff so they can access SIM's, works well as logs everything as well.
    What encrypted app do you use for 2 factor auth? And how did you set it up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_IT View Post
    What encrypted app do you use for 2 factor auth? And how did you set it up?
    It is just a piece of software we have developed with someone else you can just download a piece of software onto device memory stick, pc or laptop and can generate a unique key for this that when you run the app the first time copy in the key and it registers against some software on the Server each key is unique and encrypted. Then double click the app and it does first factor then username and password second factor. We have a client on each PC and this controls if you can access this with single or dual factor so all SIM's machines require Dual Factor, if that makes sense and is controlled by the software on the server.

    Very rough explanation.
    Last edited by Steven_Cleaver; 13th March 2014 at 10:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin_lane View Post
    how do you make sure that when members of staff at home are given the potential of access to the system how do you stop people from shoulder looking etc/ leaving the application open to preying eyes etc when they are /not infront of the their system when at home.

    And you know what I most produced a brick lol but you cant and the thing is yes its ok to open the system up to let staff have access to sims from home but remember they have to understand the consequences if sensitive information is leaked
    ... and this is why we removed our remote SIMS access that was on our RDS servers. We were asked to give access by the Head of School but it was overruled by the Exec Head. The argument goes along the lines of "I trust my staff but I don't necessarily trust whoever is in their house".

    Think carefully before allowing access unless you can create a well locked down, very little information shown (no photos, addresses, contacts etc.) user that they can access from outside the school that still allows them to do what they need to do.

    HBJB

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