Strategies For Extending the Enterprise Network to Remote Workers

The shift to remote work caused major disruptions during the height of the pandemic. As companies now regain momentum by way of hybrid work, can the same be said for their security plans and network architecture?

Network congestion was already a recurring issue pre-pandemic, only to be exacerbated over the last 18 months as the demand grew due to the distribution of teams. Adding further complexity is the fact that cloud-based app usage continues to increase, entailing lesser reliance on the enterprise network. 

With Distribution Come Risks

Research from Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) revealed that 90.7% of the 312 IT professionals surveyed said they hoped to provide employees with a UX designed especially for remote work that can be comparable to on-premise systems. 

At the start of the pandemic, the top priority was to ensure that everyone is linked to the cloud primarily through VPNs or their home networks. However, these individual networks pose a bigger challenge. As cybersecurity experts at Axonius helpfully explain, when employees work through different devices using different networks, more security risks and other issues emerge, and they become increasingly more difficult to track. 

Here are the key areas to focus on to ensure that your networks are well-fortified for hybrid work.

Scaling Up your VPN

While VPNs are secure enough for enterprise applications, they may not be suitable for most video conferencing and streaming tools. This is due to the lack of direct employee access to cloud services, which then results in longer waiting times as meeting traffic is run through the VPN. 

As an alternative, using a cloud-based VPN provides employees with easier and secure access to apps outside of your enterprise systems. As opposed to traditional VPNs, cloud VPNs are more cost-effective, globally accessible, and do not require additional infrastructure from the user’s end.

Furthermore, securing an employee’s personal computer is also critical, as it only takes one unsecured endpoint to compromise the security of the entire network. An example of a solution to this is SASE, an approach that integrates WAN and network security services into a unified, cloud-based security framework. SASE works on security models adopting a zero trust approach so that it can further filter out unverified users continuously and in real-time.

Optimizing Your Network

Network connectivity continues to be the lifeblood of remote and hybrid work. As more teams shift to a hybrid work model, more cloud applications are used. The challenge? Each of these applications have different connectivity requirements and latency tolerance. 

Complexities like these make 82% of IT leaders feel hindered in making networks suitable for the cloud. To address this, a secure SD-WAN helps manage traffic in your network, provides easier access to the cloud, and secures applications without compromising user experience. 

In the case of enterprises, they may be more tolerant of higher latencies for applications like Salesforce, but not so much for applications used in F&A and customer support. Low latency is particularly required for finance applications, as revenue will heavily depend on real-time market and trading data.

Moreover, if you have teams in different geographical locations, it is advisable to use the these network optimization techniques:

  • Employ a distributed cloud architecture for delay-sensitive apps — this accelerates client-server access wherever they may be located.
  • Have network engineers run an assessment on end-to-end application performance.
  • Use modern NPM tools to identify and optimize distributed resources for smoother data flow.
  • Use a software-defined framework in putting up optimization policies across the whole network.

Final Thoughts

Building network resilience is crucial in this era of hybrid work, and IT and security teams must be able to work hand-in-hand in leveraging the needed technologies for the business, users, and the network. Connectivity to the network is a top priority at the moment, and measures should be taken to provide teams with seamless and secure access to these technologies.

Read Next: Securing Digital Transformation: How to Minimize Risk in the Cloud

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Privacy Notice

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for (www.ascentconf.com). This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website. It will notify you of the following:

  • What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  • What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  • The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  • How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request, e.g. to ship an order.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

Security

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at 202-256-9707 or [email protected].