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Remote or hybrid work have become the de facto standard for many companies, post-pandemic, as more employees demand more flexible workplace policies. Therefore, organizations looking to support hybrid work will require a long-term strategy that ensures their infrastructure is equipped to securely facilitate this new flexible work environment.
Remote Work Creates New Security Needs
The corporate workforce has, historically, been tethered to office configurations that made it easier to provide secure access to corporate applications. Traditional perimeter-based network security solutions would inspect and filter traffic before it passed through the network boundary. However, this has become much more complex because the age of the hybrid workforce dictates that we rethink this approach to ensure we provide the strongest possible protection against cyber threats for remote and office workers.
While security threats present the modern enterprise with numerous challenges, the more specific challenges associated with remote work include the following:
- Secure Remote Access: Remote workers accessing corporate networks and applications over untrusted, public networks place themselves and the company at greater risk of cyber threats. These employees require reliable, secure remote access to ensure network connectivity to a remote site. Additionally, this secure connectivity, along with advanced threat defense ensures protection for allusers, applications and service against potential cyber threats.
- Cloud Security: A significant amount of remote worker traffic goes to cloud-based business applications. Backhauling this traffic through corporate networks for inspection and policy enforcement is inefficient and impacts network performance and user experience.
- Secure Internet Access: Direct Internet access is a common expectation for remote workers. However, this deprives employees of enterprise security protections, and backhauling through the corporate data center adversely impacts network performance and user experience.
- Advanced Threat Protection: Companies commonly have next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and other advanced threat protection solutions deployed at the network perimeter. Without these protections, remote employees are more at risk of cyber threats.
Key Requirements for Remote Work Security
The rise of remote work and the cloud has rendered traditional, perimeter-focused security solutions obsolete. If a significant percentage of an organization’s users and IT assets sit outside of the protected network, then defending that perimeter provides the organization with limited protection against cyber threats.
As hybrid work becomesthe de facto standard for business, organizations will require a purpose-built infrastructure designed to offer high-performance secure remote access, and advance threat protection.
Key solution requirements will include:
- Geographic Reach: Hybrid workers require secure and consistent anytime, anywhere access, so remote access solutions must ensure that a company can protect its remote employees while providing consistent security and performance no matter where they are.
- Direct Routing: Backhauling remote traffic to the corporate data center for inspection adds latency and dramatically impacts network performance and the user experience. Security policies for remote workers must be easily applied and enforced while maintaining a great user experience.
- Consistent Security: Consistent security and policy enforcement across the entire enteprise, including the remote workforce is a must.
- Resiliency: Remote work is commonly a component of an organization’s business continuity plan, enabling business to continue if normal operations are disrupted. A security solution for remote workers should maintain operations despite any network interruptions.
SASE and SSE Provides Secure Network Connections to Remote Sites
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-based solution that converges network and network security, and enables companies to implement strong, consistent security for their entire workforce. This combination ensures that corporate network traffic undergoes security inspection en route to its destination with minimal performance impact. Additionally, a cloud-based deployment enhances the availability, scalability, and resiliency of an organization’s security architecture while delivering consistent policy enforcement.
Securing the Remote Workforce with Cato SASE Cloud
The Cato SASE Cloud is the convergence of networking and security into a single software stack and is built upon a global private backbone that provides network performance and availability guaranteed by a 99.999% SLA. With the Cato SASE Cloud, remote workers gain secure access to corporate applications and services along with advanced threat protection. Additionally, Cato’s global network of SASE PoPs ensures that companies have security policy enforcement without compromising on network performance.
The evolution of the hybrid workforce is dictating that organizations rethink their remote access strategies. Learn more about how Cato SASE Cloud can help your organization adapt to its evolving networking and security requirements.