Guest Post By Michael Wood, Versa Networks CMO
The coronavirus crisis has introduced many new challenges for the world. Depending on which claimed expert you listen to, it will take anywhere from a number of months still to well into next year before society and business are back to “normal.” Some feel the world will never be the same.
Enterprises have been grappling with their fair share of issues during this time. Not the least of which has been supporting everyone working from home during this crisis, and now beyond. Companies have quickly realized how critical it is to have remote productivity and work from home solutions in place to maintain operational and business continuity as best as they can. If your organization is not 100-percent established on addressing its teleworking needs and policies today, all is not lost since many experts predict home office requirements will need to extend for many months. And those areas which lift restrictions too soon will find themselves facing a spike of COVID-19 cases and quickly retreating to the work-from-home practices we see today.
Security is a critical consideration when deciding upon and rolling out teleworking solutions, since working from home introduces a number of security threats organizations to date have not seen at today’s magnitude. Away from the office, firewalls and the comprehensive security infrastructure enterprises have invested so heavily in to protect the enterprise perimeter are useless in today’s traditional remote worker use case.
To start, many home workers are now using consumer devices and non-corporate issued computers that no doubt lack the needed software installed to adhere to the company’s strict security requirements and policies. Home broadband is a far cry from the locked-down corporate LANs IT security personnel prefer employees use.
In addition, many employees have relied on UCaaS solutions such as WebEx and Zoom to rapidly increase their collaboration and productivity. The spike in adoption shows how critically important these services have been due to their agility and ability to get users connected quickly. However, as we’ve seen in the news these services have the ability to open up security vulnerabilities at a rate never before seen by today’s enterprise, due to the mass of employees working remotely and needing still to collaborate.
Advanced Secure SD-WANs are an approach that organizations have turned to in order to address their secure connectivity requirements, even at the massive demand they are seeing today with so many employees working from home. When looking to best enable and secure your working from home employees, make sure your Secure SD-WAN delivers the following critical capabilities:
- Integrated security and user authentication capabilities using an enterprise’s own RADIUS, LDAP or Active Directory servers. Two-factor authentication should also be available for enhanced security. Companies should also have the ability to enable security functions such as stateful firewall, DOS protection, next-generation firewall, IPS, and URL filtering on work-from-home users’ client devices. Secure connections should be supported for privately accessing company resources hosted in data center, public cloud and SaaS locations.
- The advantages of Secure SD-WAN in a remote access solution, such as network performance and application visibility, with no additional hardware required in the home. The solution should deliver an assured networking experience with network and application monitoring. If it discovers network degradation, it should be able to take action such as switching to a different gateway or changing access to improve application experience and remote worker productivity.
- A cloud-delivered model for easy deployment, management and scaling. Such a cloud-delivered service will significantly reduce cost and complexity compared with on-premises solutions. No device should be needed.
So many of us are working at home these days, and predictions are that today’s way of working won’t quickly be behind us. Ensuring your organization is equipped with the Secure SD-WAN to best address your remote secure access requirements will enable employees to securely collaborate and be productive during this current crisis and beyond.
Learn about the latest in SASE (secure access service edge) and SD-WAN at the SASE Summit Summer Series with multiple event dates in August and September, 2020. Learn why SASE matters about how SASE and SD-WAN work together, how SASE is essential to your digital transformation, the importance of self-healing networks and much more.