Written by Neeraj Nayak, Senior Manager, Product Marketing at CipherCloud
The world is witnessing an unseen and unprecedented trend in the past few weeks. While advanced persistent threats have caused an upward trend in data breaches and cybercrime, the introduction of a certain other virus has led multinationals across the world to roll out mandatory work-from-home policies for its employees. To be realistic, considering the fact that we are in a pandemic state of affairs due to the outbreak of "World War C", this is going to be the new normal for many of us for the next few weeks.
So how to keep the productivity meter ticking and keep delivering results while making the transition from office to home office? The answer lies in two Cs - communication and collaboration. Communication is never going to be a hassle. The widespread deployment of broadband connectivity and the availability of tools from Skype to Hangouts has ensured we always remain in touch with our team members from any remote location.
This brings us to collaboration. For years VPN has been the go-to solution for a remote workforce. Designed with the notion of network perimeter security, VPN definitely works for a handful of remote employees securely accessing resources behind an enterprise data center through IPSec or SSL tunnels. But the problem compounds when remote connections increase.
VPNs are slow: A VPN can get notoriously slow on the public Internet because of routing traffic through central hubs. How would that impact productivity during business hours?
VPNs are expensive: VPN servers or concentrators are costly appliances, and can manage a limited number of clients. A sudden spike in remote logins may result in frequent server crashes, terminating thousands of active connections.
VPNs are complicated: VPN configurations and management can get extremely tricky for the IT department. A single policy setup can involve setting up the encryption, department-specific subnet configuration, key or certificate association, etc. Managing multiple clients through multiple hubs can get extremely taxing.
Let's not forget the elephant in the room - data. With the digital-first and cloud-first approach being adopted by major organizations, data has become the single most important commodity in the industry. But this data is no more behind the secure walls of the enterprise. The concept of network perimeter is blurring with every passing day. In a modern cloud-mobile world, where confidential assets reside in a multi-cloud environment, the concept of secure data access via VPN simply fails. Redirecting every remote user to the enterprise network for SaaS/IaaS access is counter-productive and negates every business benefit provided by the cloud services.
Cloud-native organizations create and share data in the cloud, between clouds, and to organizations outside of their purview. Once a user has access to the data in cloud applications, they can do whatever they want with minimal oversight. To enable tighter control and secure collaboration, it is important to enable protection around the data and users accessing the data. Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) creates a security perimeter around the data and deploys an array of data protection controls to secure sensitive data, such as data loss prevention, user behavior analytics, threat protection, and contextual access controls. CASB is tailor-made to address the security challenges with the cloud-mobile digital transformation, allowing organizations to achieve Zero Trust cloud security. Here is how CASB enables secure remote collaboration from any location and device:
Traditional VPNs are running out of steam. According to Gartner, 60% of the enterprises will phase out their VPNs in favor of zero-trust network access. The focus of CASBs towards providing organizations with deep data visibility, adaptive access controls and real-time data protection against zero-day threats makes it an ideal solution for BYOD users. The future belongs to human-centric security with data and identity at the center stage.
Hi Elisa Morrison. I agree with most of your points about the VPN especially the slow speed. I have read on different platforms where VPN providers have openly mentioned that their VPN will reduce the speed of your internet connection because of high end-to-end encryption.
In the future, a VPN service might not receive the same kind of importance for professional activities. However, I have noticed that most of the individuals want to use a VPN service and their purpose is to access a specific Geo-restricted content.
Another thing, for an individual's point of view that a VPN is simple to configure on a specific device. You don't need to be an IT professional to setup a VPN either on a laptop or on a mobile device.
By Neeraj Nayak, Senior Manager, Product Marketing at CipherCloud