These infectious times have forced a new awareness and reality: one in which people are no longer congregating in offices and are now overwhelmingly working from home. For IT managers, this flood of remote user connectivity and access requests demands careful management of remote system privileges and support. Meanwhile, office workers are now suddenly finding themselves using their personal devices and routers for work purposes. With these new untethered network endpoints to account for, what is the best way for the IT department to enable sensitive logistical data to be shared outside the private network while keeping the workforce and workflow protected? Can the internet and cloud be realistically leveraged?

Personal device use by employees requires BYOD policy. Bring your own device (BYOD) is an organizational policy allowing employees to use personal computing devices to access data and do their jobs.

If you are empowering your workforce to stay connected through BYOD, a period of confusion and adjustment is likely occurring, where current firewall and VPN protections strain to extend and secure your expanding network perimeter, and where criminal and predatory forces have rapidly mobilized to capitalize before IT security policy can adjust.

Personal devices are less secure than corporate issue; some of them already infected by spyware, and vulnerable because of human habits or the need to use public Wi-Fi, surf the internet for information, save favorites, and click on links. IT managers must extend network policies and firewall and VPN security out to these disparate devices and employees as they continue to contribute value to the company.

The risks from BYOD are both cybercrime- and performance-related.

Attack styles targeting the endpoint device and the human user predominantly consist of email phishing scams, voice-call scams, appeals to human compassion to give money to charity that are actually attempts to extort data and money; there is even increased catfishing going on during digital games. On the same BYOD device the employee accesses his or her personal email, the ISP/communication service provider might gallantly spam-filter half of the scams, but the other half rely on us and our human judgment to overcome. Just one click and the employee is infected and then unknowingly digs back into the company’s private network on the personal device. Can you stop this infection using the consumer-shelf security attached to that newly enlisted network endpoint device?

BYOD can also degrade performance when traditional security is applied across a distributed workforce. To stay connected, these employees are using different apps that have to be supported and secured. Cybersecurity of the past hairpinned the traffic through long-distance routing, to the nearest firewall, and today these architectural lines are not configured to handle the increased remote traffic and data volume, affecting network and app performance.

From a broader organizational perspective, can you sacrifice continuous access to the time-sensitive logistical data that keeps your business running in the name of security? To ensure deliveries include everything they are supposed and that the goods arrive at their destination on time requires course-plotting, real-time updates, reporting from the field, course corrections, and the overall need to orchestrate traffic to avoid damage and dissatisfaction. This logistical data must be allowed to flow, but also must be protected from cyber-spying, cyber-attack and theft. A hacker shouldn’t see what data is being shared during dispatches from a control center or on the devices used by employees as they work to make deliveries to customers on time.

How do you get these distributed remote devices both secure and high-performant without building out your security equipment infrastructure at every point of access? The answer is a software-based approach known as SASE.

BYOD Policy through a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

Distributed network devices outside the range of your firewall – and involving a sudden burst of BYODs – require an easy-to-roll-out security software approach. The secure access service edge (SASE) enforces security at the edge of the network with zero trust principles, protecting the distributed data traffic between your trusted and untrusted end-user devices and your private networks and data. It’s quicker and easier to deploy than building and buying out your physical network and a lot more adaptive than backhauling all that traffic from the edge to your data center in bandwidth-tolling hub-and-spoke fashion.

OPAQ SASE is the ability to:

  • Quickly register new work-use devices to access directories and distribute advanced network and security policy to those remote users.
  • Orchestrate smart protection and network policy enforcement across your workforce members and their personally owned work-use devices, while balancing personal privacy and the need to detach.
  • Authenticate device and user identities, and control access through MFA, cloud access proxies, and device hardening and quarantine.
  • Protect your expanding attack surface with easily deployed advanced network security as well as segmentation to prevent lateral and inward spread of infection.
  • Secure logistical data for agile and ongoing business operations across a distributed workforce and myriad customer communities.

Regain visibility and control against threats to your network endpoints and private data through OPAQ SASE coverage.

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