Role-Based Security Limits Technician Access to Certain Machines

While we have a wealth of information about nearly every aspect of ScreenConnect usage (the help wiki and forum being two big ones), we occasionally lack a central storehouse for information regarding key topics. One of these is the concept of using session groups to effectively limit (or "jail") technicians to only a certain group of machines. It's one of the most common questions we receive and it's easily done with our session groups model.

The concept is simple:  

  1. Create your filtered subgroup using the "Manage Session Groups" link on the lower left of the Host panel
  2. Create a Role that only has access to that new group (plus other necessary permissions as you see fit)
  3. Create a new User with the new Role. 
  4. Save 
When creating the new session group, you'll notice quite a few filter options. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the reference by choosing "Show Reference." Filtering by organization name, number of connected hosts, or the guest's operating system are some of the possibilities. Some popular examples: 
  • Name Like 'ACME*'
  • Notes LIKE '*server*' (Returns sessions with 'server' in the Notes field)
  • CustomProperty1 LIKE 'CompanyA' (Using the 'Organization' field)
For a live demo, see below:


Posted by John Carey at 3:42 AM       0 Comments       Share

Annotation in Upcoming ScreenConnect 4.4

You asked (again and again), and we listened -- the upcoming ScreenConnect 4.4 will have annotation tools. Despite some creative solutions developed by power users on the forum, we knew that this is a needed feature and we'll officially implement it in 4.4. Drawing tools are customizable (pen, line, rectangle and ellipses) and are layered over the guest's screen in the standard translucent, "highlighter" style. Of course, these can be turned off, on and allowed for only hosts or the entire session to partake using "All Draw" mode. Meetings would certainly benefit from the use of these tools, and if the host turns everyone's drawing access on, each user will automatically be assigned a different color. 

As always, keep tabs on news from the developers on the Output Stream on the forum. 

Posted by John Carey at 11:07 AM       0 Comments       Share

Increase Client Interaction with ScreenConnect 4.4's Event Triggers

Recently, we added the ability for your unattended Access clients to send messages to you -- even if you're not currently connected in a session. Many of you expressed some frustration with our leaving out a critical aspect of this new communication paradigm -- alerting you, the agent, that a user has messaged you. To that end, considering ScreenConnect captures this and other events already, in ScreenConnect 4.4 we decided to give users more power and flexibility by adding the ability to hook onto these various events with custom defined actions. Notifications can be triggered by a number of events and communicated via several methods.

Typically, a busy support agent who must oversee many unattended access computers will not be able to constantly monitor each session for new messages from those client machines. If a user on the other end sends a message to the host agent, it can become buried in a sea of other data and lost. With ScreenConnect 4.4's ability to tap into the chat event, we can actually create a user-customizable action that can alert a support agent via email or other (via HTTP) methods. 

For example, if a support agent has 100 remote, unattended access machines and one of those remote clients decides to send in chat message, one can tap into that event and route the chat and corresponding information instantly in an email to the agent -- even if the agent is not currently in a session with the access machine. When setting up the event handler, there are a number of variables at your disposal to describe the event, so the amount and type of data is completely up to you. SMTP can be a great way to communicate not only to human readers, but to other software applications with simple parsing.

Another typical usage would be capturing data and sending it directly to an outside application like helpdesk, RMM or CRM software. ScreenConnect 4.4 can send event data via an HTTP transmission as well as emails, so if you have an application that can accept this data, you can easily send the event specifics in XML, JSON or standard HTTP Post/Get formats. This allows a busy support admin to keep tabs instantly on events like connects or disconnects, even down to the addition of a note.

We've demonstrated the system below:

Posted by John Carey at 11:06 AM       0 Comments       Share

FAQ: ScreenConnect for Remote Access

We’ve received a large volume of calls in the past week on how our unattended access works. Below is a concise outline of how ScreenConnect manages unattended connections.

ScreenConnect provides technicians the ability to open a secure channel to unattended workstations and servers through firewalls via a customizable ScreenConnect installer. Hosts can build both Windows Installer packages (.msi) and Mac installer packages (.pkg) to deploy ScreenConnect to remote machines. This permanently installs the ScreenConnect unattended guest client which is designed to connect back to your ScreenConnect server without any additional configuration. Sessions will appear in the Unattended Sessions table once the remote machine connects back to your ScreenConnect server.

Role based permissions allow administrators to establish groups that have similar permissions, access rights, and constraints for security purposes. Role based security can be used in conjunction with session grouping and filtering so administrators can specify certain permissions for different session groups.

By managing sessions groups, hosts and administrators can filter remote support, meetings, and remote access sessions. The Session Groups Panel features several columns and tools for arranging, defining and filtering session groups.

By default, if the guest machine was turned off or not connected to the internet for an extended period of time, the unattended session will expire and be removed from the host page after twenty-four hours. This duration can be easily reconfigured by editing the web.config file. If the connection is reestablished the machine will be re-listed into the unattended client table.

ScreenConnect does not have any limits on the number of unattended computers per account. Many of our competitors including Bomgar, GoToAssist and now LogMeIn Free limit the number of connections per account. Additionally, ScreenConnect not only gives the option of remote access and managing unattended connections, but it also features two additional use models: remote support and remote meetings.

We hope this helps answer some of your questions on how ScreenConnect handles remote access. Feel free to test ScreenConnect by downloading our free 30-day fully functional trial. If you have any questions please contact us.

Posted by Anna Morgan at 10:25 AM       0 Comments       Share

Kicking Participants Off A Session

Often, a case may arise where a license may be in use when you need immediate access to the application. A situation such as a coworker forgetting to logoff a session or maybe you left a connection at work open by accident.

In this instance, as part of ScreenConnect 3.0, we incorporated a participant list as part of the Host Client. To kick the other participant(s) (hosts) off you should connect to the same session that was left open (since we allow multiple technicians on a single session), find the other participant(s) and then navigate your mouse over their name to see the "x" to disconnect them from the session.

Posted by Anna Morgan at 10:50 AM       0 Comments       Share

Expanded Customization and Branding in ScreenConnect 3.1

With ScreenConnect 3.1 out we’ve been touting all the new customization possibilities we’ve added to round out the user experience. Elements such as text strings, system tray icons, or toolbar colors of the web application and the client application can now be changed to whatever you desire.

Administrators can customize elements of both the web application and the host application by modifying resource strings. There are over 300 resource strings that administrators can use to fit their organization’s needs. All available resource strings can be found in the Appearance tab on the Administration page. They are divided into two sections: web resource strings, and client resource strings. The web resource strings alter the web application (i.e. the Guest, Host, and Administration pages), while the client resource strings alter the client application that launches after a guest host connects to a session or meeting.

We hope that you are enjoying all the new customizations we’ve incorporated into the software. If you have any questions or comments please discuss them in our forum.

Posted by Anna Morgan at 11:21 AM       0 Comments       Share

LogMeIn Free to Limit Volume

In the near future, LogMeIn is going to start limiting their free offering. LogMeIn's March 4th blog post reads, “We’re making some changes to LogMeIn Free — specifically introducing new volume limits on LogMeIn Free accounts”. Previously users had connections to an unlimited number of computers using the LMI free application. Changes will restrict each customer to 10 or less computers. LMI is trying to drive customers that support a larger volume to their LMI Central offering for a discounted price is $199/year (normally $299/year).

With ScreenConnect you can have an unlimited number of unattended machines. ScreenConnect is a one-off cost of $325. Once you buy the software you own it and you can use it forever. You will see a positive RIO compared to that of LMI Central in a little over one year. ScreenConnect has simliar functionality to that of LMI Central, plus, it has the additional use models of remote support and remote meetings. Furthermore, ScreenConnect's architecture allows for opened-ended customizations to align with your company branding.

We believe ScreenConnect is a great affordable alternative to that of the LMI product line. If you are interested in giving ScreenConnect a try please download the fully functional trial. If you have any questions please contact our sales or support staff.

Posted by Anna Morgan at 8:20 AM       0 Comments       Share

ScreenConnect 3.1 on the Horizon

Many of you have been playing around with ScreenConnect 3.1 during February and we are very close to releasing a stable version! The new release adds many new customizations, security measures and more.

With ScreenConnect 3.1 we've met our customer demands and improved upon security by integrating two-factor authentication into the product. Additionally, one time password is now built into the out of the box (OOTB) login page.

To round out branding and give administrators more control over the experience and users, we've added new customizations. Administrators can now make infinite changes to the clients themselves including changing colors, icons, test strings and more. Additionally, administrators can choose to change the name of fields and disable select features, such as access to the toolbox or file transfer, globally or for specified users. This increases the flexibility of the host role.

For a full detailed list of ScreenConnect 3.1 features please visit our forum.

Posted by Anna Morgan at 8:10 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Development | Remote Support | ScreenConnect