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Working From Any Location Necessitates “Work-from-Anywhere Security.”

Adding more technologies to an already overburdened security environment is frequently required to secure today’s increasing networks. Adding new technology to the mix may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, with enterprises already battling to manage an average of 45 security products and each incident requiring coordination across 19 different devices.

Remote work is the most recent example of the network’s attack surface rapidly expanding. The epidemic of COVID-19 has heightened the necessity for a work-from-anywhere (WFA) strategy. As people return to the workplace, a mixed approach to work has become the new norm. According to Accenture, 83 percent of workers want a hybrid work style in which they can work remotely between 25% and 75% of the time. And businesses are taking notice. Sixty-three percent of high-growth businesses have already implemented productivity anywhere workforce models.

Employees must be able to move effortlessly between the corporate office, their home network, and other remote locations, which is one of the most significant security problems of a hybrid workforce. Applications, whether in the data centre, SaaS, or the cloud, must not only be accessible from any place, but also provide a consistent user experience and security. Security policies and solutions from one location to the next must follow users and data. At any level, achieving interoperability, let alone smoothly handing off policies, correlating threat information, and providing consistent enforcement end to end, can be tough.

Working from anywhere poses new security risks.

Workers needed to access crucial business resources from their typically insecure home networks when the pandemic struck. While VPN was widely utilised, access controls were frequently insufficient, allowing any user, device, or application to access corporate resources via the VPN connection. And, as a result of the vulnerability of endpoint devices and home networks, there has been an extraordinary rise in cyber incidents, such as the nearly 110% spike in ransomware between June 2020 and July 2021.

Maintaining consistent security is considerably more difficult because solutions from different suppliers don’t often function well together because those workers will now be travelling back and forth across work environments. Endpoint or EDR protection is provided by one, SD-WAN is provided by another, identification is provided by a third, and ZTNA may be provided by a fourth. SASE is a service provided by another company. We may deploy different firewall suppliers at the data centre, branch, and on each of the cloud platforms in use. Worse, the majority of these technologies were never intended for this level of interoperability in the first place.

Keeping the Work-from-Home environment safe

Organizations want a “work-from-anywhere” security strategy, in which solutions can track and safeguard users, data, and applications from beginning to finish. That implies endpoint security must work in tandem with network and cloud access controls. Secure SD-WAN and SASE solutions must integrate with edge security and networking solutions to ensure that security does not end at the campus, branch, data centre, or cloud’s edge. We must continuously support and enforce zero-trust policies across the board by access policy engines. Furthermore, policy and threat intelligence must be applied across the whole network, ensuring constant protection and enforcement even as the network adapts to changing workloads and business requirements.

It’s practically hard, though, to create such a unified and dependable system with clear visibility and consistent control. It is compelling that IT staff use sophisticated workarounds to connect systems that is not designed to work together natively. However, maintaining and resolving such workarounds consumes a substantial amount of IT resources. Even minor product updates can become a logistical nightmare in such an atmosphere.

We can address the three main WFA use cases by a unified cybersecurity mesh platform.

The first stage is to choose a cybersecurity mesh platform and develop a strategy for consolidating as many of your separate security solutions as feasible into a single set of zero trust, endpoint, connectivity, cloud, and network security solutions. Whether installed directly on a security mesh platform or interoperating with it via purpose-built clients and APIs, we should design these technologies to work as a cohesive system. This unified platform approach streamlines policy generation and enforcement, assures consistent configurations, centralises management, and allows for end-to-end monitoring and control of individuals, devices, data, applications, and workflows.

Enterprise-grade protections can accompany people and devices in the office, at home, or on the road to maintain productivity and security across the extended network, thanks to fully integrated security, services, and threat intelligence platforms.

We can apply a single platform strategy like this to almost any use case, including the three most frequent WFA situations today: corporate, home office, and mobile worker:

• Corporate Office:

Today’s businesses rely on software to run their operations, regardless of where their employees are. As a result, even while working from a typical office, we require strong endpoint security. Advanced EDR technologies for devices, ZTNA and identity services for secure access, and a robust portfolio of converged networking and security solutions, such as Secure SD-WAN, that offer advanced networking tools designed to operate from a unified security platform, should all be part of an integrated solution.

• Home Office:

The renowned unsecured home networks for containing vulnerable IoT gadgets, entertainment systems, and other devices. There include non-employees who use bandwidth for their own job, e-learning, video streaming, or internet gaming. Strong endpoint security, such as EDR and ZTNA for secure access to cloud and data center-hosted applications, identity and access management tools, and a fast and isolated home office solution to extend corporate firewall protections to the entire home network are all required to secure such environments. This home office solution should also partition the home network to give corporate IT visibility into corporate traffic while simultaneously maintaining employee privacy on the non-work network and optimising bandwidth for business applications.

• Mobile Workers:

To access essential company resources, mobile users frequently rely on untrusted and unprotected networks. Cybercriminals use these weak networks to intercept messages or launch assaults on devices that which not well-protected. Securing mobile workers, like the other use cases, necessitates robust endpoint security (EDR) and ZTNA to enable secure access to vital resources. To enable smooth interoperability with solutions deployed across the network, a mobile network solution should feature multifactor authentication, a cloud-based secure web gateway, CASB, and an excellent SASE solution.

Source: fortigate firewall

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