Creating the most secure setup for remoting in

Posted on 2007-10-16
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Please provide resources or describe the most secure way(for a home/home office user) to remote into a Quickbooks or other database based software "Server".  

Specific example:

I have a client who owns two gas stations.  He has a PC at his house.  He would like to be able to remote in and use Quickbooks in all 3 locations and also share files, and use other applications that are specific to his industry(SQL based inventory software for example).  

In theory I should have a PC at his house with a Cisco router, a PC/cisco router at location1, and a pc/cisco router at location2.  They should be set to only tunnel into each other.  Want this to be as secure as suggested.  VPN, SSL?  

Also should be be using remote desktop software, or just mapped network drives?  VNC?  RDP?  Service like LogMeIn?  

I hope this all makes sense.  I understand the theory(i think) but just don't know how exactly to implement!  Used RDP/VNC/LogMeIn before but really for my own personal use and other's personal use.

Question by:ejoech
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    my preffered method is a VPN.....this provides your first layer of security, after that, as far as remote programs go, RDP is probably your most secure....

    Basic mapped drives will work fine as well for file sharing
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    I agree w/ Jay_Jay70, IPSec VPN (via a Cisco device is the simplest method) is the most secure for the money.  Assuming your client has a workstation "always on" at each location, after the tunnel is established, s/he can RDP to the workstation and it is as if s/he were still at the office.  A very low-end Cisco device capable of VPN can be had for as little as $500.  Also, the devices at location 1 & 2 do not necessarily need to tunnel between themselves.  Cisco has very good documentation on setting up both tunneled and ad-hoc VPNs.

    Hope this helps. -T

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the response.  I will look up doing an IPSec VPN.  How hard is it?  Would the cisco documentation come with the router or would it be online?  
    LVL 48

    Assisted Solution

    there should be both, online and documents depending on when you bought it, heaps of documentation online though

    The cisco is relatively easy to set up most of the time, at leas the new interface is pretty good
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    You'll also have to verify if the router which you are buying as capable as a VPN ENDPOINT. Not only passthrough!
    And check with his ISP. I know several in my country who block incoming VPN traffic for the home-type of subscriptions. They want you to upgrade to the professional subscriptions for running a VPN server-side.

    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Forced accept.

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