IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working

By Contributor
Tue 17 May 2022

Article by WatchGuard Technologies APAC regional director, Anthony Daniel.

Of all the changes caused by the global pandemic, one of the most profound is the way it has redefined connectivity.

Previously connecting with colleagues involved gathering in a meeting room or having a casual chat in the corridor; now, many interactions are carried out virtually.

The way people connect with applications and data has also changed. For example, rather than logging into an on-premise IT infrastructure via a local-area network (LAN), users now remotely access resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data centre to the cloud.

These changes have brought significant challenges for IT teams. They need to ensure resources are readily available but also secure. 

Security in a remote-working world

Failing to achieve strong security in this new environment can have damaging consequences. A breach can wreak havoc on a company’s good name and lead to significant financial losses. Attacks can also lock staff out of key systems, halting business activity and causing frustrating disruptions for customers.

Despite being such a critical factor for organisations of all sizes, and a top business priority for IT leaders, more than 70% of businesses admit they spend less than 2% of their revenues on cybersecurity. Even with more people than ever working remotely, more than half of businesses today are spending less than $1,000 on cybersecurity per employee.

A significant lack of in-house cybersecurity skills is also a major issue, especially for smaller organisations. More than 76% of businesses are understaffed in cybersecurity, and when the average IT team member only stays for three years or less, retaining the necessary skills base is challenging.

Disconnected tools 

Industry research also shows that the average midsize business uses four or more tools for vulnerability management, and 79% of IT decision-makers admit that it takes more than 48 hours to close a vulnerability once it’s been identified.

Multiple security tools that cannot integrate with others do not share context and analytics to identify indicators of compromise. Each security product requires its own management, training, support, and operations process, which are often handled by separate teams.

The business benefits of zero trust

Traditional VPNs, in isolation, assume that anything that connects through a network gateway can be trusted. While this approach provides a secure connection and adds a layer of security to less secure protocols and services, it also opens an organisation to attacks that exploit remote users and devices. It only takes one compromised password or endpoint device, and suddenly that same VPN connection becomes an entry point for cybercriminals.

First discussed back in 2010, the strategy of Zero Trust eliminates this risk by taking a ‘never trust, always verify’ approach to providing access to users, devices, and applications. Zero-Trust network access establishes policies around user access based on the role of the employee and the security status of their endpoint based on three key principles:

  • Always know who and what is connecting:

Cybercriminals use a variety of techniques to steal usernames and passwords. Phishing, spear phishing, and social engineering are common and stolen credentials are for sale on the dark web. Passwords aren’t good enough anymore. If it’s worth protecting, it requires multi-factor authentication.

  • Limit access to business-critical systems based on well-defined permissions:

Zero Trust allows security teams to centrally manage access across all common IT systems and limit access to only specific users, devices, and applications. Access decisions happen in real-time based on the policies defined by the business and the access request context.

  • Monitor the health and security of the network and endpoints:

With employees stuck at home, the chances are high that they will also use company laptops for personal web surfing and email checking. Staying on top of threats requires persistent, advanced security that goes beyond traditional endpoint antivirus software.

The role of SD-WANs

Before the pandemic, IT teams designed their networks to accommodate the increasing use of cloud-based applications and platforms. Software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) assisted in ensuring worker productivity was enhanced through the provision of fast and direct links to resources.

While cloud applications continue to grow and more organisations embrace a zero-trust strategy, businesses are grappling with how to architect networks to suit remote workers. Many cloud-first architectures are designed so that everything must pass through the network perimeter and then leave it.

Regardless of their location, users must still interact with the corporate network, often using inefficient technology, to get back to the outside world. This creates significant challenges in terms of service availability, performance, and user productivity.

The combination of zero trust and SD-WANs can help to address this situation. Uses and infrastructure can be made secure while performance and productivity are enhanced.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Microsoft
Elders signs five-year agreement with Microsoft to boost innovation
Australian agribusiness Elders has signed a five-year agreement with Microsoft that looks to transform its customer experience, efficiency and sustainability outcomes.
Story image
Ransomware
Examining the future of ransomware threats with Vectra’s CTO
As customers' valuable data move to the cloud, so will ransomware. What is the current landscape and what do we need to know?
Story image
Apple
Your tools, your choice: why allow employees to choose their own devices?
Jamf Australia says giving your team the freedom to work with their digital device of choice could help to attract and retain top talent in a tight labour market.
Story image
AGVs
Bridgestone Australia uses Dematic's AGVs to optimise warehouse operations
Bridgestone Australia has deployed Dematic's Automated Guided Vehicle solution across its new Melbourne warehouse in Truganina.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce announces new innovations for financial services
Salesforce has launched expanded financial services that offer more targeted and trusted automation to help teams unlock insights, deliver better customer service, and drive operational efficiencies.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Dynatrace extends automatic release validation capabilities
Dynatrace has extended its platform release validation capabilities to improve user experience at every stage of the software development lifecycle.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks' cloud security platform receives IRAP assessment
"We provide help protect all forms of compute, cloud native services and access to data within public and private sectors."
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
CSG
To win at 5G, telcos must tame their quoting chaos
The catalogs of CSP (communication service providers) market offerings are set to explode as new digital services emerge, powered by B2B2X business models.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Cloud
BT builds on Equinix partnership with new cloud offering
BT has launched a next-generation cloud connectivity offering extending its global network into strategic carrier-neutral facilities (CNFs) and building on its existing partnership with Equinix.
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
Remote Working
RDP attacks on the rise, Kaspersky experts offer advice
"Given that remote work is here to stay, we urge companies to seriously look into securing their remote and hybrid workforce to protect their data."
Story image
Digital Fingerprint
Decline in counterfeit cherries after digital fingerprinting
Reid Fruits says there’s been a dramatic decline in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia because of digital fingerprinting.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Capital
Rubber Monkey gears up for Aussie market with latest capital raise
Rubber Monkey is seeking to raise up to NZ$2.5 million of new capital through online investment platform, Snowball Effect.
PwC
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
PwC
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Story image
Solutions
Progress launches latest version of network visibility solution
In Flowmon 12 network solution, Progress has expanded its support for public cloud provider flow log monitoring and launched new features.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Vectra AI named as AWS security competency partner
Threat detection and response company Vectra AI has announced that it has become an Amazon Web Services Security Competency Partner.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Documentation
Adobe study finds lack of digital trust and utilisation in Australian Government agencies
New research commissioned by Adobe has revealed a significant lack of digital trust within Australian Government departments, along with the continued underutilisation of key digital processes.
Story image
Storage
EXCLUSIVE: Finding the best data center for your business needs with datacenterHawk
Companies using cloud are consistently looking for the best storage solutions to suit their enterprise needs and often have to go through rather complex processes in order to find the right fit.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Amazon
What brands can expect from Amazon Prime Day in Australia
Amazon Prime Day is the annual two-day shopping event, kicking off this year from July 12-13 and is the global online shopping platform's biggest sales event. 
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
ASI Solutions
Western Australia CUA panel picks ASI as preferred supplier
Western Australia's Common User Arrangement (CUA) panel has chosen ASI Solutions as a preferred supplier for device hardware.
Story image
Media
Registrations for the W.Media Sydney Cloud and Datacenter Convention 2022 now open
Are you a C-Level executive looking to enhance your knowledge in the cloud and data center space in order to get the best results for your company?
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell named Frankston facility services provider
Honeywell has been named the joint facility services provider for Frankston Hospital’s AU$1.1 billion redevelopment.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why it's time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Document Management
NZ's FileInvite raises $10M in latest investment round
FileInvite has raised $10 million in Series A investment to fast-forward the extinction of email for requesting and collecting documents online.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
SaaS
Ping Identity appoints Deloitte Australia as a partner
Ping Identity has appointed Deloitte Australia as a Consulting Technology Partner, uniting its offerings with the company's consulting services.
Story image
Metaverse
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Management
MYOB snaps up Sydney-based management software specialists
MYOB has announced the acquisition of Sydney-based business management software and support specialists, GT Business Solutions.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Cloud is a tool, not a destination
For many years, “cloud” has been thought of as a destination which has led to a misguided strategy that sees an enterprise trying to shift all its applications to a single cloud provider – regardless of the specific needs and nuances of each individual workload.