IT Brief Australia logo
Story image

Why enabling a remote workforce requires converging security at the edge

07 Jul 2020

Article by Bitglass' Jonathan Andresen.

To protect enterprise data, IT teams have to counter risks on two fronts: insider risks where threats from within the organisation, such as employees handling sensitive data; and outsider risks that originate from malicious external sources.

Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities within a CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) solution have emerged as the most effective platform to prevent legitimate remote users from accidentally or maliciously sharing business data that could put an organization at risk. 

Providing visibility into all types of cloud-based applications (SaaS, IaaS and PaaS) running across all types of devices, both managed and unmanaged, is a prerequisite for securing business data against insider threats. Add-in real-time access control and threat protection for managed apps, and IT has the full toolset needed to fast track cloud adoption while de-risking breaches caused by internal users.

But what about external malicious threats? How should we protect against these threat vectors when the workforce is highly decentralised across a multitude of locations and using a variety of managed and unmanaged devices to access corporate data?

Network security solutions such as firewalls, secure web gateways and anti-virus software products have been deployed for years to protect against ‘outsider’ threats, i.e., malicious attacks from hackers looking to steal confidential business data. That worked well when most users worked out of the office and just a few users worked from home or on the road. The cost and performance overhead of a VPN for a handful of users was a good tradeoff.

The pandemic has changed that.  Workers are largely remote, business applications are hosted in the cloud, and accessed by users from multiple devices at any one time – both managed and unmanaged (think BYOD). To put it differently – data is being created and stored outside the traditional enterprise security boundary, travelling on networks that IT doesn’t own and where the device and access methods are determined by the user.

Together, these changes broaden the attack surface and increase users’ vulnerability to malicious external threats that are beyond the reach of traditional network security products like firewalls and on-premise SWGs.

Such legacy network security solutions use a combination of appliances and passive endpoint agents to inspect traffic for users in the office or on the go, leading to high management overhead and high latency.  Further, encrypted traffic is inspected at the gateway, infringing on user privacy.

Fast-tracking an agile yet more secure remote workforce requires a recognition of the fundamental importance of cloud services and mobile access play for today’s users. What’s needed is a converged solution that fully protects against both insider and outsider threats. 

That solution is a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution that integrates web security (SWG) at the device edge with cloud security (CASB), Data Loss Prevention tools (DLP), threat protection and Identity Access Management (IAM).

Story image
Egnyte ensures greater security across Microsoft 365 with latest integrations
The new integrations are aimed at helping mid-sized organisations prevent data loss, address a growing number of regional privacy regulations, and simplify the overall management of content with minimal administrative overhead.More
Story image
Remote work continues, and endpoint security cited as a must
Nearly half of workers will stay remote after the pandemic ends, and two out of three IT professionals are concerned with endpoint misuse, according to Prey Software's new study.More
Story image
AWS launches machine learning training for business leaders
Amazon Web Services has launched free digital training courses in a bid to empower business leaders with machine learning knowledge.More
Story image
Dynatrace greatly expands infrastructure monitoring capabilities
The announcement means DevOps and site reliability engineering teams (SREs) will be better-placed to easily search and analyse real-time and historical logs from any source, all in a centralised location, without log-targeting or manual intervention. More
Story image
Apple creates sweeping carbon removal fund
The US$200 million fund has set its goal to remove ’at least one million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from the atmosphere’ — equivalent to the amount of fuel used by over 200,000 passenger vehicles.More
Story image
NVIDIA unveils next-gen SoC for autonomous vehicles
NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang calls it a 'technical marvel' that combines all of the company's strengths.More