Remote access only via approved machines

Is it seen as overkill for you to provide company hardened devices that users can use from home to access remote access facilities like citrix? Or wheres the risk in not providing them corporate kit and letting them use whatever they want?

Say someone access a citrix gateway from their personal computer manifested with poor secrity, i.e. out of date software, loads of malware, no firewall etc etc - if they use this to access your citrix gateway (2-factor) does the internal citrix infrastructure become at risk, or not really? I.e. can they access citrix from any damn machine they want be that company provided or home, or cafe shop etc etc.

Whats your policy on this? Can citrix enforce any kind of "your machine isnt secure enough you arent logging in"?
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Dirk KotteSECommented:
we and the most of our customers let use the users every device.
at the moment are no known security risks for the server from this sessions.

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Elmar KoschkaSenior System EngineerCommented:
I`m shure. if you dont publish local disks from client, then theres no security risk.
Carl WebsterCitrix Technology Professional - FellowCommented:
I believe Citrix Access Gateway Enterprise Edition and NetScaler can provide this leel of functionality.  Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop are designed to be accessed by any user from anywhere using any device.  How are you going to make sure their BlackBerry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Droid, Mac, Linux, Unix, Windows, etc devices meet all your conditions?
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Dirk KotteSECommented:
at some customers we use a second boot environment because the not managed devices sometimes not run without problems.

For example a secure USB-Boot stick
pma111Author Commented:
>I believe Citrix Access Gateway Enterprise Edition and NetScaler can provide this leel of functionality.  Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop are designed to be accessed by any user from anywhere using any device.  How are you going to make sure their BlackBerry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Droid, Mac, Linux, Unix, Windows, etc devices meet all your conditions?

Well that was the question, as to whether you let them use them in the first place. I guess a keylogger would still glean passwords via the citrix authentication.  

Or whether you say "you can use any device you like with any or no security on that device to access our remote access facility"
Dirk KotteSECommented:
we use (nearly ever) 2 Factor authentication from the Internet for Citrix, OWA, Sharepoint, VPN, ... to reduce the keylogger risk.
mostly Safeword , sometimes RSA
Carl WebsterCitrix Technology Professional - FellowCommented:
You can also use the free Citrix SSLRelay to encrypt traffic between the Web Interface servers and the XenApp servers.  You could also use IPSec everywhere on your network.

I have been given access to customer Citrix networks where their netwrok security device(s) didn't like my AV on my laptop.  I had to uninstall my AV and install one of their approved packages before the security scan would complete and let me logon to their network.
pma111Author Commented:
But surely its good practice to have some form of user education policy saying the risks of remote working and that connections should be made from managed/trusted machines and networks?
pma111Author Commented:
Do citrix offer any sort of "best practice analyser" tools to help audit their products to identify security or misconfiguration gaps? M-S have quite a few now for security, AD, DNS, Exchange etc
Dirk KotteSECommented:
no bad idea, but you should not irritate the user more than necessary.
How secure is it t work from th Hotel-WLAN?
Citrix (with SecureGateway or AccessGateay) are designet for this.
pma111Author Commented:
Is 2-factor authentication then a complete solution to passwords being compromised. I.e. could you post a list of passwords for your citrix gateway yet without a 2-factor dongle theres nothing at all that could be done about it or used for malicious intent?
Rob KnightConsultantCommented:

It really depends on the system to which the user is connecting? Irrespective of that, accessing an enterprise system from a user's own PC over which you have no control (in terms of anti-virus, malware, lockdown etc.) could potentially result in some form of compromise.

If the end-system is highly sensitive and of interest to organisations (for example if it were a Government or Government contractor) then the risk of key logging, screen capturing etc. malware becomes more significant as the user could be targetted.

Even in the commercial space, very big organisations could use this as a means of corporate espionage.

Bootable USB Pen-drive solutions such as BeCrypt's Trusted Client or Spyrus Secure Pocket Drive completely isolate the running environment from what's on the computers hard disk so any malware present, isn't able to run and compromise the secure environment/your system. The only potential attack would be from a modified BIOS which is not that likely in most day to day scenarios unless the system of interest to a particulary  determined attacker.

The Spyrus solution, runs Windows Embedded so can run the same A/V, applications and VPN as you do internally and be managed using WSUS or SCCM to ensure it's up to date with OS patches.

The BeCrypt client runs a secure Linux distribution.

Both solutions are approved for Government use - this provides a level of confidence in their robustness etc.

Others include:

Whilst some may consider the above overkill, organisations wanting to permit secure remote access to corporate systems are implementing them.


Ayman BakrSenior ConsultantCommented:
In our corporate environment we use a software called host checker. Our users can use any device they wish but before they can connect to the facilities they have to have the 'host checker' program installed on their client device.

The host checker will determine whether the client device have the minimum security requirements set on their device. If not set then will reject connectivity. The minimum requirements can be configured from the Juniper VPN we have before going through to the Access Gateway; e.g.:
1.Firewall should be turned on
2.Antivirus should be installed and confined to the list of Antivirus approved by the corporate
3.Last update to the antivirus should not exceed a certain period of time

But, I have to say we take extreme measures and hence this added configuration. However, I still believe that with a proper setup of your CAG in the DMZ and proper firewall setups you should be able to secure your facility to a very satisfactory level.
Dirk KotteSECommented:
while demonstarte the solution at citrix events i have written username and password to the whiteboard.
without the 2 Factor device there are no possibility to use this credentials from the internet.
You can also implement an Access Gateway and use end-point scanning to determine who & what devices are allowed.  

2-factor authentication is about the best security you can get, however, it doesn't protect you from an end-user who is logging in remotely and is using the various redirections available in Citrix.

If you want to secure it as much as possible, put in your Access Gateway, and use Citrix policies to turn off all redirections for connections through the AG.

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