Achieving Secure Remote Working – at scale

There’s no doubting that the demand for remote access has grown exponentially as a result of Covid-19 – and it’s very likely that for many organisations, it will be a lasting change.

Remote access technologies have changed significantly from the days of VPN’s. tokens and complex, often home-grown, systems to manage identity and access control.  As applications began moving to the cloud, extending the perimeter to the internet, the demand to work from anywhere and from any device, grew. But security was an still issue, the perimeter was becoming impossible due to lack of effective security. Whilst old methods may have worked well when fewer employees needed remote access, and organisations were primarily still in the network-centric world, in the age of cloud and mobility, application access needs to be independent of the network. In short, if you haven’t already done it, now is the time to rethink remote working.

Zero-Trust and the Software-Defined Perimeter

Today, private application access is shifting away from network-centric approaches and enterprises have begun seeking a modern ‘zero-trust’ approach where users are never on the network and app access is granted on a least privilege basis – ‘never trust, always verify’. Because of this, many have turned to the software-defined perimeter (SDP). Built for the modern enterprise, this model enables secure access by exclusively connecting authorised users to specific private applications, without placing users on the network.

The benefits over traditional VPN are compelling:

  • Improves remote user experience: SDP’s are designed to deliver a faster and more seamless experience for all users, regardless of device, location, or application
  • SDP de-couples application access from network access, creating a dark-net for both network and apps via outbound only connections.
  • Simplifies implementation and management: since SDP’s rely solely on software, they are simple to deploy, they enable “set and forget” policies, and there are no physical or virtual appliances
  • Reduces overall cost
  • Secures your people, your assets and your organisation’s reputation.

No appliances are required, but instead, these solutions use their own security cloud to deliver scalable, remote and local access to enterprise apps while never placing users on the network. Using micro-encrypted tunnels and cloud-enforced policies they create a segment of one between an authorized user and a named application. The inside-out connectivity makes both the network and applications invisible to the internet, creating an isolated environment around each application. And ultimate security and peace of mind for your enterprise.


Identity and Access Management in the Cloud

Once remote workers are secure, the next step is to ensure their identity and validate their access rights to your applications and systems, whether in the datacentre or the cloud. Identity has moved to the cloud too, with modern, IDAM solutions that can replace a mismatched myriad of systems in use in many organisations today – all tied into a single source of employee identity such as an HR record or Active Directory. Access is granted based on a set of policies to ensure each employee has access to the tools needed at any point in time, regardless of where that employee is or from which device, removing the need for multiple passwords and other software-specific credentials being managed. This approach simplifies the complexity that often arises as organisations take on multiple new SaaS solutions across the business, and the multiple networks that organisations inherit over time, typically through M&A.

Enabling your remote workforce by implementing private access and identity management will not only benefit remote workers who will experience simple, faster, better access, but also will reduce costs and reduce the burden on IT teams in managing disparate systems.

And if network bandwidth to support remote workers is an issue, consider SD-WAN

If the increased use of remote working collaboration tools is putting pressure on your network bandwidth and you’re still relying on expensive MPLS technology, then you should also be looking at the benefits of moving from MPLS to SD-WAN. The key benefit for remote working is access to dynamically managed bandwidth, that can flex overtime to cope with peaks and troughs of demand and if you’re a multinational, you can also gain huge cost benefits from a mix and match approach to global carriers to get not just the best deal on broadband but the best quality that can be delivered in that location.

To find out more about more effective, more secure ways to deliver remote working solutions at scale, get in touch and speak to one of our experts today.

Get in touch

Have a question about this use case or want to find out more about our services? Fill out the form and someone from our team will get back to you as soon as possible.