How to secure remote access for the hybrid work model with a software defined perimeter

September 2, 2021

As companies adapt to the post-Covid world, many organisations are planning a new combination of remote and on-site working: a hybrid model in which some employees work remotely and others on-premises. Remote employees need access to all the same resources as on-premises employees, which requires secure connections to and from corporate networks and cloud services and applications – all while ensuring that employees are productive and efficient. From an infrastructure standpoint, IT pros need the ability to easily and securely access work-from-home employees’ devices – ideally from a single dashboard.

Analysts and IT leaders agree VPN technology can no longer support largely remote and hybrid workforces. VPN's are complex to manage, costly and needlessly extend company networks to unsecured locations — and alternatives are typically challenging to set up, manage and use. But as the probability of cyberattacks rises, the risk and potential losses of not having a scalable remote access solution also increase.

 

The answer? Use a solution in conjunction with your existing setup, which provides a zero-trust access environment with additional benefits such as BYOD, fast installation, scalability, affordable, permission access and a stable connection with no bandwidth issues. It's not an all-or-nothing approach — you don't need to kick out your VPN tomorrow! But you can minimise the risks that come with VPN and, importantly, enable the business by supporting effective hybrid working.

 

Why we need a new approach

VPNs were designed nearly two decades ago, for connecting devices with on-premises networks. Today, however, VPNs are often trying to protect the perimeter network, instead of protecting a flat network with linear access. The issue is VPNs simply aren’t consistently secure enough to protect against today’s threats, which are increasing with the remote workforce.

Alongside this, VPNs are time-consuming and, often, costly to manage. Admins must configure new VPNs by hand and scaling access means more admin work for each new VPN added – plus there are the extra licence costs to think about.

 

Remove complexity = improved security + scalability

We've already highlighted the challenges of scaling multi-product remote access solutions. So how is a software-defined perimeter different? Quite simply, a solution like G/On is quick to install and provides everything users need to access company resources securely. G/On has built-in features for redundancy and load balancing, which means organisations can scale up remote working in minutes rather than weeks. And, of course, it has the security features you would expect, including two-factor authentication, authorisation, end-to-end encryption, network protection and secure application access.

 

G/On: Designed on Three Pillars

Soliton's G/On solution is built on three pillars: software-defined perimeter (SDP), zero-trust and non-intrusive. SDP network resources are made inaccessible by default and make the application infrastructure invisible from the internet. Zero-trust means it applies the principle of least privilege to the network (need-to-know), reducing the attack surface while also increasing IT's visibility into user activity and applications. And non-intrusive ensures it promotes data protection and prevents access to personal data on devices.

An authenticated user can only access one or more specific services inside the network when explicitly authorised, rather than receiving the broad network access available when using a VPN. Therefore, a software-defined perimeter isolates the company services from the internet, stopping almost all forms of network attacks.


Your industry sector doesn't matter - G/On helps solves the underlying remote access challenges

G/On can be used by any organisation or industry vertical. It's a single place for you to control exactly who can see what on your networks, and it works with both managed and unmanaged devices.

While the specific requirements for a law firm could be different to a manufacturer, G/On enables them both to solve the underlying challenge: Enabling full-time or temporary employees to securely access the applications required to get their jobs done from an unmanaged/unknown location and/or device. Even if 'remotely' means being in the office, G/On can still help. It supports consultants working from a customer location or external contractors and freelancers working with your company data.

 

Discover how you can take back control. Download your copy of the eBook: How Software-Defined Perimeters Help Organisations Scale Secure Remote Access

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Originally published. 17th March 2021, updated 2nd September 2021 for relevancy

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