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Let’s face it – remote working is here to stay. What was a distraction and an afterthought for ICT managers at the end of last year is now an integral part of any go-forward enterprise networking environment. The benefits of enabling a remote, borderless and telecommuting workforce are obvious in terms of employee well-being and maximized productivity. Prospective employers now look to offer flexible, remote working as a real benefit to attract the best talent.
Most IT teams have built their security infrastructures over the years specifically to protect enterprise networks and the information within them. With the sudden rise in remote working, corporations needed to rely on Virtual Private Network technologies for employees to continue to be able to gain access to enterprise networks from outside of the traditional office LAN environment.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals also continue to develop new and sophisticated ways to take advantage of increased remote mobility in order to gain access to networks and valuable data. The volume of cyber incidents targeting newly remote employees through email phishing tactics and compromised end-user devices has reached record levels.
A typical home working environment can be a localized mixed-use network of corporate devices, highly insecure IoT or personal devices and shared accounts. This offers an ideal foundation for the potential exfiltration of company data and other nefarious cybercriminal activity. As a result, the so-called “attack surface” has increased substantially with the growth of remote working. This brings with it a whole new set of challenges in the war against cybercriminal activity with secure remote networking and risk management becoming the primary imperatives.
Here are a few tactics to consider when it comes to protecting remote end-users — and, by extension, the enterprise business:
A simple “one-size-fits-all” approach presents potential security risks. Striking a balance between user access management and secure remote access using policies is key.
Since enterprise IT teams cannot control the Wi-Fi networks people connect to at home or in public, they need to create security infrastructures that support safe remote working across any network. The security approach must shift from unconditional confidence in users to one of “zero trust.”
Having this in place enables businesses to plan their shifts to the cloud, so that employees can access their data, wherever they are. Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) technology grants remote workers access to corporate resources based on end-user and device identity, security posture and their agreed privileges. This allows for effective access security while also giving users their choice of devices, including BYOD, and applications.
Finally, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) networking takes remote working one step further. SASE treats the enterprise as a distributed network of endpoint connections. Users can access their resources quickly and efficiently, no matter where they are. At the same time, ICT managers can still maintain a zero-trust approach across their entire network. Networking environments like SD-WAN can seamlessly align with SASE without significant changes.
Enterprises that partner with a managed service provider with capabilities across both the networking and security environments can support and address the needs of the remote worker and manage security across this new enterprise networking environment.
GTT connects people across organizations, around the world, and to every application in the cloud. Our clients benefit from an outstanding service experience built on our core values of simplicity, speed, and agility. GTT owns and operates a global Tier 1 internet network and provides a comprehensive suite of cloud networking services. We also offer a complementary portfolio of advanced security services.