Remote access services provide the ability to obtain managed and secured access to network services and/or business applications from a remote location. Within an organisation people who work out of branch offices, home workers/teleworkers, and people who are travelling as part of their job role may need access to corporate network services.
A typical remote access user will require access to the internet via a broadband service connection to allow them to securely connect to the required service or application however this can also be done via the mobile network.
Remote access services are extensively used within health and social care organisations to enable workers to access key resources that allow them to carry out their duties at any time and regardless of their location. Access can be obtained via various devices such as:
- corporate-issued laptop
- corporate mobile or tablet device
- 3rd party managed hardware services
In the current challenging circumstances, there is a significant increase in the requirement for such solutions. In order to help support this,NHS Digital has enacted contingency options for customers who need Remote Access services at short notice. You can contact your Consumer Network Service Provider (CNSP) for information on their Remote Access Services, however as such solutions are CNSP agnostic they can be sought from anywhere and further details are available on the HSCN Business Application Suppliers page.
If access to organisational on-premises systems is required, the Organisation would need to permit these through their HSCN connection / firewall.
Your organisation may provision an independent solution for Remote Access, such as Direct Access VPN or other Cloud based services. Any solution must integrate with your existing user access devices and any organisation increasing usage of their local remote access service should ensure there is sufficient licencing and capacity for the solution.
A technical overview of the types of remote access solutions along with guidance and implementation considerations can be found on the Types of remote access solutions page, and details of procurement routes are available under the Main routes to market.
Remote access services will be reliant on the users internet connectivity, and users may experience performance issues if there is insufficient bandwidth. Appropriate controls must be put in place if public WiFi is being used.
No new allowances are being made around the use of mobile devices and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Guidance for organisations considering a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) approach, can be found on the National Cyber Security Centre website.