Why we need a browser SSH terminal client?

By John Sundarraj on Tuesday, Oct 15 2019, 18:04PM

From software developers to infra operations engineers, all of them use native terminal emulators like GNOME, Terminator, Xterm, iTerm, Guake, Konsole, Tilda, in their day-to-day work life to perform various operations. Everything is fine until we deal with SSH keys and SSH access.

These days, SSH is the most important protocol used by every tech team in the world. Over the past decade, I've seen the humongous growth in SSH protocol usage. It's not just because of the dominance of cloud service providers like AWS, Google, Azure, but also due to the rapid adoption of DevOps/SysOps methodologies. Let's analyze the use cases of SSH in the IT/software industry.

Usage of SSH in the IT/software industry

  1. Top class cloud service providers like AWS, Google, and Azure, only allow SSH protocol to log-in to the Linux/Unix servers.

  2. Most open-source deployment tools like Chef, Ansible uses SSH protocol extensively for in-server and in-container deployments. In fact, Ansible totally relies on the SSH protocol for executing deployments.

  3. Git is a version control system that uses SSH protocol for secure transport. Git internally uses SSH protocol when pushing/pulling source code changes to the remote Git repository.

  4. And more and more.

Above mentioned points show the importance of SSH protocol and how it is inevitable in the current IT/software industry. These days, you need SSH from software development to production server access. That's why managing SSH keys and SSH access is very crucial for tech companies.

What are the issues with native terminal emulators?

  1. Almost all of us distribute the SSH private key to our team members to allow SSH access to remote production servers. Here, the SSH private key can be easily copied and misused by the team members. You cannot protect the SSH private key if you are using native terminal emulators available in Linux/Unix operating systems. I see this as the main reason why you need a browser SSH terminal client.

  2. The native terminal emulators do provide keystroke logging features that can record/log terminal sessions. But, you cannot centrally manage all the terminal recordings/logs and retrieve whenever you want.

  3. You cannot live stream a terminal session in real-time with native terminal emulators.

Solution with SloopEngine browser SSH terminal client

  1. With SloopEngine's browser SSH terminal client and SSH key management features, you can provide SSH server access to your team members in a single click without sharing the SSH private key with them. It doesn't matter whether it is on-premises servers or cloud servers like AWS EC2, Google Compute Engine, Azure Virtual Machine.

  2. With SloopEngine's SSH logging and auditing feature, you can record/log every SSH connection from the browser SSH terminal client to your production servers, that are established by team members. During the SSH auditing, you can easily retrieve the SSH recordings/logs that are centrally stored and managed by SloopEngine. You can easily track and find the culprit team member with the power of browser SSH terminal client and SSH logging & auditing features of SloopEngine.

  3. With SloopEngine's live SSH auditing feature, you can live stream every SSH connection launched using SloopEngine browser SSH terminal client in real-time. So, you can watch every team member's SSH connection without them knowing it. Also, you can terminate the SSH connection in a single click if you detect any malicious activity.

Above mentioned facts help you to overcome the issues of native terminal emulators. Without a browser SSH terminal client, you cannot centralize SSH access, SSH logging & auditing, and more.

SloopEngine is a cloud-based SaaS product that offers key features such as centralized SSH key management, SSH server access control, SSH logging & auditing, live SSH auditing, server-backed online IDE, project management, activity tracking, live chat, and more for tech teams. Only a web browser is required to use SloopEngine.

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