SOURCE: Aventail

March 07, 2006 07:00 ET

Is Your Company Prepared If All Employees Must Work From Home?

A Secure, Remote Access Solution Is Critical to a Successful Disaster Recovery Plan, Advises Leading Analysts and IT Experts

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2006 --Recent natural disasters, terrorist activities, and the Avian Flu outbreak have brought disaster recovery to the forefront for governments and enterprises. Many media articles and analyst reports emphasize the need for all enterprises to implement a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. As these plans are being implemented, industry experts are realizing that a secure, remote access solution, such as an SSL VPN, is a vital part of any successful disaster recovery infrastructure.

“The most critical success factor to any business continuity plan is a fast re-establishment of business processes. However, if your disaster recovery plans do not include remote access coordination steps, no amount of cool technology will save your operations,” stated Gartner VP Distinguished Analyst John Girard in a report entitled, ‘Ten Remote Access Failures Your Company Could Avoid in an Emergency,’ “Remote access is not an accessory network; it is an extension of mission-critical company IT services, and it needs to work correctly under random circumstances.”(1)

With an SSL VPN from companies such as Aventail (, enterprises can immediately enable all employees, partners, or contractors to access critical network resources from any device and any network environment via a Web browser with absolute security. Since SSL VPNs provide clientless access, no special software is needed, and users do not need to be working on a managed device to gain access. This is an important advantage since, during a disaster or other business disruption, users will most likely be accessing from a home PC, mobile device, or other unmanaged system.

“Our Aventail SSL VPN is not only a critical part of our daily operations, as it provides secure, remote access 24 x 7 to network resources but also a vital part of our disaster recovery initiative,” said Paul Beaudry, IT Director at James Richardson International, Canada’s largest privately-held grain company. “If we had any sort of disaster, it would be a very simple process to point all users to the VPN portal and continue to work as usual, even if everyone was working from home or other remote locations.”

According to Aventail, a remote access solution should adhere to these key business requirements for a successful disaster recovery initiative:

--  Easy to deploy -- All users should be able to access the VPN from a
    Web portal page from the company Web site or other URL everyone knows. The
    solution should also be easy to use and easy to manage, since a disaster is
    not the time for extensive training.
--  Quickly scalable -- The IT staff must be able to scale the remote
    access quickly to accommodate a spike in VPN traffic. With a disaster, all
    users could now be remote, and the solution should have the capacity to
    handle that as well as failover capability to ensure no downtime.
--  Access to all applications -- For successful remote access, during an
    emergency or not, users must be able to access all network resources,
    including Web-based applications, file shares, client/server applications,
    Windows Terminal Services, etc. A solution that supports Web conferencing
    and VoIP is also important during an emergency, since traditional phone
    systems may not be working.
--  Highest Level of Security -- Keeping business as usual should not be
    at the expense of privacy or security. By placing an SSL VPN at the
    perimeter of the data center and leveraging the policy controls in the
    solution, enterprises can closely control who accesses what information and
    block unauthorized access. All access controls can be established
    beforehand, so when a disaster strikes, the security policies are in place.
--  Ensure Compliance -- Regulatory compliance does not end during a
    disaster, and in fact, keeping a clear audit trail of who is accessing what
    information could become even more important during this time. An SSL VPN
    can provide granular access controls to ensure only authorized users can
    access resources and provide auditing and reporting of that access.
For these reasons, as well as the overall benefits SSL VPNs provide for every day remote access, networking consultants are including SSL VPNs as part of their overall disaster recovery solution implemented for clients. One of the experts in this area is George Usi, president and CEO of Sacramento Technology, a networking consultancy based in California that has built a practice around disaster recovery.

“We are helping a lot of our customers set up very affordable disaster recovery solutions built around an Aventail SSL VPN to ensure they can continue to operate in the event of a disaster. It would only take one minor event for a strong ROI to be realized,” said Usi. “And it’s not just about the technology but also the human resources factor, because with this solution, companies can allow their employees to stay home with family and friends during a disaster, which is where they want to be.”

For more information about SSL VPNs and how this technology fits into an overall disaster recovery plan, go to:

(1) Gartner Report: Ten Remote-Access Failures Your Company Could Avoid in
    an Emergency. Publication Date: 23 November 2005. John Girard.
About Aventail

Aventail is the best-of-breed SSL VPN technology company and the authority on secure application access technology. Aventail delivered the first SSL VPN solution in 1997, and today, Aventail meets the secure communication needs of more than two million end users globally. Aventail’s family of Smart Technology SSL VPN appliances increases productivity for end users and IT professionals, while maximizing security and lowering costs. Aventail SSL VPNs lead the industry in End Point Control, policy management, and transparent, easy-to-use access options to the broadest range of applications. Aventail is the SSL VPN of choice among leading enterprises and service providers worldwide, such as AT&T, DuPont, IBM Global Services, MCI, Netifice, Office Depot, Sanyo, and TNT. For more information, go to

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Aventail Corp.
    Margaret Dawson
    Shannon Mapp
    Email: Email Contact
    Tel: 206-438-7214