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Remote Access


The commonwealth remote access system (RAS) is a tool used to connect remotely to the commonwealth network. Employees may need to connect to the network from home or another remote location, to perform their job functions. Also, agencies may need to provide remote access to the commonwealth network to their business partners, consultants and vendors to allow them access to internal agency servers. Remote access is coordinated by OA-Information Technology, and users must have the Cisco virtual private network (VPN) client on to their computer and a valid digital certificate.

Request Access
Requests for RAS access should be directed to an agency’s IT department. Each agency has a trained point-of-contact to coordinate RAS requests with OA-Information Technology. When a RAS request is received, the RAS point-of-contact provides the end user making the request with the remote access request form. Once completed, approved and signed by the employee’s supervisor, the agency RAS point-of-contact will coordinate the request with OA-Information Technology.

VPN Client
End users connecting to the commonwealth’s network remotely must have the Cisco virtual private network (VPN) client on to their computer. The agency RAS point-of-contact downloads and installs the client on commonwealth-owned computers. If the end user will be accessing the network from a non-commonwealth-owned computer, they will need to download and install the client. These instructions will walk you through the download process, and an installation manual is available.

Digital Certificate
Before connecting the first time, end users must request a digital certificate, export the certificate from the certificate registration site and import the certificate into the VPN client. Additionally, digital certificates must be renewed once a year.  

Get Support

  • If you are having trouble with your CWOPA or MUSER username or password, call your agency IT help desk.
  • If you are having trouble installing the Cisco VPN client, call the Verizon Commonwealth Service Desk (VCSD) at 877.302.7366.
  • For all other questions or problems, please contact the enterprise security team at security@pa.gov or 717.772.8606.

Manuals 

Commonwealth Network User
Commonwealth employees and agency business partners on the commonwealth’s network

Outside Commonwealth Network User
Business partners outside the commonwealth’s network 

Installing and Configuring the Commonwealth’s VPN Client