RMF Control AC-17: Remote Access is a cybersecurity control that helps to protect information systems by controlling access to information systems from remote locations. This control is important because it can help to prevent unauthorized access to information systems and data.
Remote Access Requirements
The RMF Control AC-17: Remote Access requirements are specified in NIST Special Publication 800-53, Revision 5. The requirements state that the organization must:
- Establish and document usage restrictions, configuration/connection requirements, and implementation guidance for each type of remote access allowed;
- Authorize remote access to the information system prior to allowing such connections;
- Implement cryptographic mechanisms to protect the confidentiality and integrity of remote access sessions;
- Monitor and control remote access sessions;
- Terminate remote access sessions when no longer needed.
Remote Access Best Practices
In addition to the RMF Control AC-17: Remote Access requirements, there are a number of best practices that organizations can follow to improve their remote access posture. These best practices include:
- Using a remote access solution that supports strong authentication and authorization;
- Implementing a risk-based approach to remote access. For example, you may want to restrict remote access to certain types of devices or users;
- Monitoring and auditing remote access activity to identify and respond to suspicious activity;
- Educating users on the importance of remote access security and how to protect their devices and data.
Benefits of Remote Access
Remote access can provide a number of benefits to organizations, including:
- Increased employee productivity: Remote access can allow employees to work from anywhere, which can increase productivity and flexibility.
- Reduced costs: Remote access can help to reduce costs associated with office space and travel.
- Improved customer service: Remote access can allow organizations to provide customer support 24/7.
- Increased business resilience: Remote access can help organizations to maintain operations during disruptions, such as natural disasters or pandemics.
How to Implement Remote Access
There are a number of ways to implement remote access. One common approach is to use a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs create a secure tunnel over the public internet, allowing users to access resources on the organization’s network as if they were connected locally.
Another approach to implementing remote access is to use a cloud-based service. There are a number of cloud-based services that offer remote access capabilities. These services can be relatively easy to implement and use.
Example of Remote Access
One example of remote access is when an employee uses a VPN to connect to their employer’s network from home. This allows the employee to access resources on the employer’s network, such as files and applications, as if they were sitting at their desk in the office.
Another example of remote access is when a customer support representative uses a cloud-based service to connect to a customer’s computer remotely. This allows the customer support representative to troubleshoot problems with the customer’s computer without having to visit the customer’s location in person.
RMF Control AC-17: Remote Access is an important cybersecurity control that helps to protect information systems by controlling access to information systems from remote locations. By following the RMF Control AC-17: Remote Access requirements and best practices, organizations can help to improve their security posture, reduce the risk of data breaches, and increase employee productivity and flexibility.
Additional Tips for Implementing and Enforcing Remote Access
- Use a centralized system to manage remote access policies and procedures. This will help to ensure that remote access is implemented and enforced consistently across the organization.
- Implement a risk-based approach to remote access. This will help to ensure that remote access efforts are focused on the areas of greatest risk.
- Monitor and audit remote access activity to identify and respond to suspicious activity. This can be done using a variety of tools and techniques, such as security information and event management (SIEM) solutions and intrusion detection systems (IDS).
- Educate users on the importance of remote access security and how to protect their devices and data. This can be done through training programs, documentation, and other resources.
By following these tips, organizations can help to ensure that their remote access is implemented and enforced effectively.