Enhancing Remote Access Security for Government Employees in Cyprus

In this case study, we will explore how a government institution in Cyprus successfully addressed the challenge of providing secure remote access to internal resources for employees working from home. The institution faced issues with standard free software, which not only hindered productivity but also posed potential security risks. The solution involved the deployment of FortiAuthenticator VM, enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) for remote SSL VPN users and when accessing any work computer or internal server.


The government institution recognized the need to facilitate remote work for its employees, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they encountered several challenges in providing secure access to internal resources. The use of standard free software was not feasible due to commercial restrictions, frequent connection terminations, and inadequate authentication security. These issues not only reduced productivity but also exposed the institution to potential security breaches.


To address these challenges, the government institution implemented a comprehensive solution centered around FortiAuthenticator VM. The solution involved the following key components:

FortiAuthenticator VM Deployment: The institution deployed FortiAuthenticator VM, which acted as a central authentication server. This server integrated with the existing LDAP domains and served as a Radius client for the central FortiGate cluster.

User Group Division and Radius Attributes: Users were divided into different groups, each assigned specific Radius attributes. This division allowed the central FortiGate to grant access based on user identity, ensuring a granular level of access control.

Software Tokens for MFA: To enhance authentication security, software tokens were assigned to users. These tokens were enabled on their mobile phones, providing an additional layer of security during the authentication process.

FAC Agents for Computers and Servers: To enforce MFA for all connections, FAC agents were installed on all work computers and internal servers. This ensured that any connection to these resources required MFA from the assigned software token, further bolstering security.

Offline Access and Token Backup: To accommodate users working outside the institution, FAC agents were configured to cache tokens. This allowed users to access their computers offline while still requiring MFA. Additionally, a backup admin was designated to manage token restoration in case of token loss, ensuring uninterrupted access for employees.


The implementation of the FortiAuthenticator VM solution delivered several significant benefits to the government institution:

Enhanced Security: The adoption of MFA for remote SSL VPN users and internal resource access significantly improved security. This eliminated the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches, safeguarding sensitive government data.

Increased Productivity: The reliable and secure remote access solution eliminated connection terminations, ensuring uninterrupted work for employees. This led to increased productivity and efficiency, even when working from home.

Compliance with Commercial Restrictions: By deploying FortiAuthenticator VM, the institution complied with commercial restrictions that prohibited the use of standard free software for commercial purposes.

Streamlined Authentication Process: The centralized authentication server simplified the authentication process, reducing the burden on IT administrators and ensuring a seamless user experience.

By deploying FortiAuthenticator VM and implementing MFA for remote access, the government institution in Cyprus successfully addressed the challenges of providing secure access to internal resources for employees working from home. The solution not only enhanced security but also increased productivity and compliance with commercial restrictions. This case study serves as a testament to the effectiveness of FortiAuthenticator VM in securing remote access for government institutions and other organizations.

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