In the Past. B.C., Before the Cloud…
“All right, employees. Hunker down in this luxurious, windowless cube area where we’ve provided all the computing hardware, software and information you need to do your job. Nothing beats good ol’ on-the-premises client/server… Oh, did we tell you we’re expanding? We’re opening a new sales office in New Jersey? Attention IT department, give the New Jersey office access to our data center and connectivity with our staff here at HQ.”
*In Charlie Brown / Peanuts-like phone garble: “WHUH-WANT-WHUH-WANT-WANT…”
“What? Okay, yeah, set up the new branch firewall and enforce a strict VPN policy on private data access… Err, what’s that gonna run us?”
“That much? Really?… What? The Colorado office wants a sensible work-at-home policy? You gotta be kittin’ me. Ohhh, all right. Make sure they use the VPN.”
“So if I understand you correctly, employees are accessing unsanctioned applications and uploading and downloading stuff on the Web? They’re doing it remotely, too, without using the VPN? Shut’em down!”
“What? Digital transfor-what? They actually need this cloud and Web stuff to do their jobs? Our customers and partners need access to these apps, too? Oh, brother… Can’t we just put a firewall everywhere?”
Liberated! A.D. Away from the Data Center
Before the cloud, the enterprise data center was the true center of the digital business universe. It’s where key business data resided, the place where traffic and payload mostly got sent and scrubbed in hub-and-spoke pattern from a networking and security perspective. However, with user demands from mobile and edge computing increasing and the attack surface widening, the data center can’t be the center anymore because it carries heavy bandwidth and operations costs, and long-distance traffic hauls can negatively impact performance and quality of experience. Think of all the times, you personally logged off an app when it didn’t deliver service right away.
With edge computing, business is happening in real-time, outside the enterprise firewall, out on far-off frontiers. It’s occurring at public Internet access points, over Wi-Fi, on portals, and upon employee bring-your-own devices that might require internal data access as well.
The good news, and what digital transformation brings, is that your people are mobilizing, reaching out, connecting to engage. We’re not taking about people ‘galavanting’ all day long, or posting cat photos on Facebook. We’re talking about engaged employees and people in the business ecosystem connecting outside the network, outside the data center, and even outside IT visibility, for work and to do business. Enabled near-real-time connectivity empowers people to share information and value with each other digitally, when meeting in-person isn’t doable. Point is, business is getting done, transactions are being initiated outside the static office. People are in motion, branching out, making connections, growing communities, partnering, trading this for that, making money. That’s all good, right?
But this mobile scenario poses risks from compromised user devices and man-in-the-middle attacks, which seek network pathways into private data on the device; in the cloud, and on your local servers. Network distribution and mobility also creates significant trade-offs – either leave this business traffic uninspected or bring it back to a more centralized policy enforcement and inspection function; either skimp on security or create performance and architecture headaches.
Business software consumption [think storage-as-a-service] is moving from the data center to the cloud and Web. This can expose your employees, their devices, and your data to a wider spectrum of potential assaults, while offering hackers a larger attack surface. Attacks targeting network endpoints have spread to cripple municipalities, and put commercial enterprises out of business.
Protect Digital Transformation with Zero Trust, Network Edge Security
The OPAQ zero trust network security edge empowers transformational organizations to regain control over a graying network perimeter; at the edge where the Internet, cloud and private network intersect. OPAQ provides zero-trust network security software- as-a-service from the cloud to enable organizations to quickly deploy router, firewall and VPN functionality across hybrid, globally distributed environments.
OPAQ makes this secure network modernization easy as you pursue business initiatives such as growth, the establishment of new sites, SD-WAN, remote worker security, direct Internet access, data center transformation, and keeping SaaS apps private.
OPAQ Endpoint Protection
The workplace is no longer confined by walls. Your users are connecting to your network remotely – from the home, airport, hotel, coffee shop, and other places. On-device anti-virus/malware protection by itself is only marginally effective, and firewalls are not properly located to protect remote users who directly access cloud applications and sensitive corporate data. Virtual private networks (VPNs) help, but aren’t full-proof, especially when the VPN connection is lost or not accessed in the first place. And VPNs often impact performance, frustrating users and causing lost productivity. This is why always-on protection for roaming mobile edge devices is crucial.
OPAQ Endpoint Protect secures network traffic all the time from the cloud. OPAQ offers always-on protection to users and devices by ensuring they are always connected to the OPAQ Cloud. All network traffic – not just Web traffic – to and from the user device traverses OPAQ’s highly performant and reliable network. It’s the easy button for enterprise-grade security during digital transformation. The advanced security is layered to protect private data at the endpoint but also your core data as those endpoints reach out to the vulnerable, connective edge of today’s morphing semiprivate network.
Find out more:
Read the Securing Remote Workers report.