According to a recent survey, 96% of remote workers would like to continue working from home or at least have the option to utilize a hybrid model with only partial time spent at an office. Now that the initial rush of equipping remote workers is over, IT teams are prioritizing remote worker security for the long term.
The benefits of remote work aren’t just being measured by employees: company leaders appreciate the cost savings and productivity improvements they see with remote teams. That leaves IT teams to grapple with how to transform their networks to accommodate a cyber security strategy that allows for the acceleration of critical resources being moved outside the traditional perimeter of the network.
Previously protected by high-end security systems, remote workers are now tied to the network and the cloud applications they access by the thin thread of a virtual private network (VPN) connection. Cyber criminals have shifted their attention from corporate targets to home-based consumer routers and DVRs to access VPN connections to the corporate network.
IT security teams are responding with new strategies to secure remote-workers’ devices. They need a plan that promotes remote-worker security across various endpoint devices and a growing network edge that includes branch offices, data centers, and cloud-based solutions. There have been solutions on the market, but they often do not provide the visibility and control necessary for the dynamic, cloud-based, and remote needs of the environment. They are also expensive and complex.
Starting With SASE
It seems today that the answer to every technical question is the cloud, and IT teams are utilizing secure access service edge (SASE) solutions to connect devices, users, and edges across locations with the benefit of centralized security management. However, SASE is only a starting point because it can’t address every security challenge.
To ensure a SASE provider is meeting your needs, include these three steps:
- Determine whether the provider is experienced as a security developer.
- Find out whether the solution has been evaluated by a third-party testing entity.
- Examine independent reviews completed by companies in your own industry.
You also need to think about your organization’s environment. It’s unlikely that it’s truly an end-to-end cloud environment, so be sure that data and policies not covered by the SASE solution are being addressed. Even a slight gap between cloud and legacy security policy can create vulnerability.
Creating the Network Connection
Your exchange between your SASE services and your network should include three elements to eliminate risk:
- Make sure that the physical, virtual, or cloud solution protecting the destination network is the same as that used by your SASE provider. An integrated security fabric allows security to follow the data.
- Your SASE solution should operate seamlessly with the technology at the network edge, whether it’s a switch or software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) device. You need a combined approach with security woven into your networking for a unified solution. This is also known as security-driven networking.
- You need one more layer of security at your network edge, using zero-trust network access policies for application and network access.
Secure Endpoint Devices
SASE offers a host of benefits, but don’t forget to install advanced security to endpoint devices, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR). You need to be able to detect and mitigate threats as a part of your comprehensive security fabric across your organization. Your SASE solution and network edges should recognize your endpoint security solutions to provide better visibility and a consistent security policy that is distributed, orchestrated, and enforced across your network.If your company is moving towards a permanent hybrid or remote plan, you likely need a new strategy for remote-worker security. Contact us at ITBroker.com to learn more about leveraging the right technology for an integrated approach to your cyber security strategy.