How to Have Secure Remote Access to Exchange/Outlook Mailboxes

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Let’s be objective. If we are lucky to leave the office at 5 pm or 6 pm, it doesn’t mean that our workday is over. A lot of work happens during afterhours, with urgent notifications and calendar updates coming much later than we exit the office door. This is why we keep our mobiles as an extension to our workstation and confirm appointments, reply emails on the go – while commuting, for example.  

But what if you work in a high-security organization: a bank, a financial institution, public sector etc. with your internal network closed to the outside world? It is when you can send emails via a closed Exchange Server/Outlook network to your colleagues within the organization but you cannot exchange messages with others outside your company. And as soon as you leave the office, you cannot enter your Exchange/Outlook mailbox.  

Whether you like it or not, your Outlook mailbox remains one of the main collaboration and communication tools. And the modern work tempo and flexibility needs you to have instant access to it – both during traditional workhours in the office and on-demand from your mobile devices while working remotely.  

So how can you have secure remote access to Exchange/Outlook mailboxes if your local network restricts it? How can high-security enterprises set up data exchange in a safe manner and meet the challenges of the modern world communication? 

Secure synchronization via Exchange Server: the challenge 

Here at Connecting Software, we have worked with Microsoft Exchange Server since the beginning of our history. And we’ve built a ready-to-use product CB Exchange Server Sync which performs any kind of synchronization between multiple Exchange/Outlook/O365 accounts cross-server and cross-domain.  

One day, a request from a governmental institution came: to create a solution which would enable secure communication of an internal network with the outside world – so that mailbox items could be viewed by employees on their mobile devices without putting the organization at risk in case the device is hacked or stolen. This institution wanted to control which information leaves the secure internal network and needed our help. So we took the challenge with enthusiasm. 

Prevent hackers from using Exchange as an entry point 

Meet CB Super Secure Exchange Server and Exchange/Outlook Content Censor. These are the two solutions built on the CB Exchange Server Sync concept and available as plugins.  

What exactly do they do for secure remote access to the Exchange server? 

Imagine, John is a high-level manager in a financial institution. He has his Outlook on an internal Exchange server. When he leaves the office, he doesn’t have access to his calendar and doesn’t see if any urgent changes come. This often results in scheduling issues and time lost. 

Now, CB Super Secure Exchange Server enables protected synchronization between a closed corporate network and an external corporate network which is available outside the office, for example, on John’s mobile phone. The data exchange between the two networks – internal@examplecompany.com and external@examplecompany.comhappens via a firewall. As a system administrator, you can set up and configure a validation center within your firewall and control what data travels across it.  

With CB Super Secure Exchange Server enabled, John has his calendar on the mobile phone synchronized with his Outlook mailbox on the desktop, even though it is in the secure internal network. The scheduling issue solved and productivity improved! 

Exchange/Outlook Content Censor: control what is exposed outside 

Our Exchange/Outlook Content Censor has another useful feature. When synchronization between internal and external Exchange networks is done, as a sysadmin you can control which calendar items to restrict. For example, you can configure the Content Censor to remove attachments automatically. You can also limit the number of characters in the email body. Another option is to control user subject prefix to recognize restricted emails easily.  

When Exchange/Outlook Content Censor is applied, the calendar item can look like this:  

This plugin also helps a lot if you need to synchronize your calendar with someone else inside your organization or externally, and you don’t want them to see the content of the calendar item in its whole. The person will only know that you are busy and see the appointment title but will not see the appointment content or attachments. Security guaranteed. 

Secure remote access to Exchange Server is possible! 

Mailbox remains an easy entry point for hackers and is often very easy to compromise. At the same time, having instant outreach to your mailbox items when you are away from the office is a must-have. Finally, there is a solution for high-security enterprises – CB Super Secure Exchange Server and Exchange/Outlook Content Censor.  

Contact our experts to learn how you can improve the security and workflow in your organization.  

Is there more information online?

Check various mailbox synchronization options with the CB Exchange Server Sync:

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