I have a MySQL DB with a Access 2k Front-End/Dashboard that's been running successfully for quite some time. There's a lot of custom reports designed around the client's Business Logic over the years. Currently these reports are emailed to area managers in different cities daily, weekly, monthly and annually which is getting to be a time consuming task due to growth.
One solution is to build a stripped down or light version of the Access front-end containing just the reports used by the area managers for now and distribute it as a self-contained application (Access Runtime) for those machines not running Office. The concern is ... this will require connecting to the MySQL DB using ODBC outside of the client's firewall on port 3306. Currently, the Access front-end connects using ODBC when the app starts up but they are all on the LAN inside the firewall. I occasionally have port 3306 open for testing from my development office and everything runs just fine as far as the reports.
What is the main security downside to this concept (connecting through port 3306)??
Is there a better more secure way to accomplish the objective???