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Secure (and Simple) SharePoint Remote Access

SharePoint, Microsoft's 16-year-old flagship file storage and collaboration product, is used by over 200 million worldwide users. Likened to a Swiss Army knife, SharePoint performs so many functions that it has become an integral part of most enterprise IT fabrics. Of course, it is not perfect - no product is. And like many incumbent products, there are always new challengers ready to deliver advanced feature and performance capabilities. Google Apps and Slack come to mind, and even claim to be taking away some - albeit modest - market share.

One of the reasons SharePoint is so popular is that it has stood the test of time and successfully migrated to the cloud. SharePoint Online debuted in 2013 offering features not available in previous on-prem versions. But some of this flexibility has come with a price - that being increased complexity. For example, enabling on-prem SharePoint for remote and third party (contractors, consultants, etc.) users can be a time-consuming, resource-intensive undertaking. And if you are also trying to integrate other complex products at the same time, implementation can challenge even the most senior IT teams.

A case in point is Microsoft issued a SharePoint tech support note titled "Enable remote access to SharePoint with Azure AD Application Proxy". The tech note does a great job explaining the details to successfully accomplish this use case. But the downside is, it is a multi step process that takes a lot of time complete. Plus, there are a number of required prerequisites including making changes to SharePoint servers and ensuring SSL is properly set up. All in all, it's a cumbersome and somewhat painful process that can't be completed in just a few minutes.

Even with this ongoing complexity, it is estimated more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft SharePoint. That probably is not a surprising statistic, but here is what is interesting given the ubiquitous SharePoint footprint: Dimensional Research estimates a 97% of SharePoint stakeholders have security concerns when giving remote SharePoint access to third parties such as contractors, suppliers, franchisees and partners. And with more and more organizations relying on the work of those third parties for everyday business functions, security risks and realities increase.

The good news is there is an alternative solution: Akamai's Enterprise Application Access gives companies simple, convenient and more secure control for remote SharePoint access. It is an integrated, globally distributed cloud service that eliminates the time and complexity of building an access solution out of component hardware and software parts. Best of all in can be implemented in less than 30 minutes.

Want to know more? Here is a short Enterprise Application Access video that underscores the simplicity of this solution that can easily be applied to solve remote SharePoint access requirements.