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No App Needed – GhostPorts on iPhone

If you’re like me, and need to login to a cloud-based application while commuting to and from the office, most likely you’ll use your iPhone when you can for its ease of use. When that application you’re connecting to has its underlying server secured with GhostPorts you already have everything you need on your iPhone.

Before I dive into how I use my iPhone to connect to a web-based Bug tracking system let’s recap how GhostPorts works. First, GhostPorts manages the Firewall on the server itself. It creates Firewall rules based on your local IP address (your iPhone) after you authenticate. Second, the authentication happens with a SMS message which contains a one-time code.  The whole point of GhostPorts is to keep that Cloud applications administrative access hidden from the Internet at large while still allowing you to do your work from wherever you are.

Now, back to how I use my iPhone to connect to Jira, the web-based Bug tracking system I was talking about. Since Jira is web-based I just use the default browser, Safari.

Step 1. Login to portal.cloudpassage.com with the iPhone’s builtin Safari browser. I have bookmarked the /ghostports URL so I immediately land on https://portal.cloudpassage.com/ghostports after I login.

This allows me to quickly tap on the “Send Authentication Code” button without having to navigate to the Open GhostPorts page myself.

Step 2. The iPhone overlays the SMS based GhostPorts authentication code on top of the browser so entering it on the page is a snap.

Step 3. Once the server’s Firewall rules have been updated with your iPhone’s IP address you’re all set.

At this point I connect to Jira’s login page through Safari over HTTPS (like any secured web application) and I’m golden. After your server is secured with GhostPorts, you don’t need to install any special apps to be productive with your iPhone during your commute.

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