Five Ways to Secure Your Remote Workforce
by Rackspace Technology Staff
For many organizations, the days of tiny cubicles spread across a tightly packed office building are gone. Today, it's estimated that in 2022, 31% of all workers worldwide will be remote, and the US is expected to lead with 53% of its workforce moving to a remote model. And in most cases, teams are scattered across the globe, logging in virtually and are thousands of miles apart!
However, teams still need to collaborate, organize and manage projects to meet business needs. In addition, some teams combine internal and external members such as contractors, freelancers, vendors and partners. So how do you protect your company's data, wherever it's hosted, without slowing it and them down? Here are five pro tips to secure modern remote teams without slowdown.
Modernize Access to the Network
You might use a traditional virtual private network (VPN) to secure your company's internal apps, but this model falters when employees connect remotely at scale. What's worse, VPNs are overly permissive and trust anything that makes it through your front door. Instead, digitally query every data packet without the frustration or performance degradation of a VPN.
The edge is not what it used to be. VPNs used to be a protection and bypass for an external connection. When the perimeter is everywhere, you need security that travels everywhere and to the cloud. It's time to move forward when a VPN is no longer the answer.
Using any combination of SaaS applications can leave your team exposed. In the past, organizations have routed outbound Internet requests back to headquarters for threat scanning, but this is slow and untenable at scale. You need a way to identify and stop the latest threats without bringing your team to a standstill.
Lock Down Data
Your business' most valuable data can span SaaS providers, internal applications, the public cloud and more. Regardless of location, ensuring that data only goes where it belongs requires protection designed to support any combination of on-premises and cloud-based services.
Data isn't stored in large satellite silos or vertically scalable solutions anymore. Today, data is shared between many applications, vendors, and SaaS providers. As a result, you must have security solutions in place to protect your data, whether it's in transit, in a SaaS application, or in the cloud. If your public cloud policies don't sync to your on-premises data center or match whatever's in your colocation environment, you could have some real problems.
Success today requires consistent policy management, no matter where data resides. Establish user-based Zero Trust policies to ensure who gets access to data, whether the data comes from a public cloud environment on the backend or from behind a physical firewall in your data center at your office building.
Simple Scalable Tools
Having scalable tools that anyone can quickly figure out is essential. Using Zero Trust tools that already work at scale and are familiar to employees can remove a lot of frustration and reduce the inevitable workarounds that cause headaches and burdens for your IT staff.
Additionally, make these tools easier to find. Show what users have access to, and in one central location. App launchpads bring every application a user can access into a simple, graphical dashboard. High-performing remote teams make it easy for employees to find the right tool when they need it, saving time and accelerating processes.
Fast Track Non-Employee Access
Access to organizational data for people outside the company is a fact of life today. But how do you safely and precisely connect outside participants, including when they exit? One concern now is that access will persist and won’t be revoked immediately, in a timely manner.
When you need to allow contractors and other guests secure access to your data without going through a million hoops, the Zero Trust approach delivers the convenience of fast-tracking your contractors. It also strengthens risk reduction at the corporate level.
Know When to Modernize
Say you have a legacy email application, and you're still running Outlook servers on-premise. You could integrate, but it's a lot of work. Instead, don't be afraid to modernize. Know when it's time to transition to better technology with a higher degree of functionality, continuous updates, and subscription models that are easier to handle over extended periods than an up-front lump payment.
Never hesitate to reevaluate what's useful for you now versus what makes the most sense for your long-term strategy. Make sure you’re using a solution that supports extensive logging and auditing of every request with the flexibility to export to security information and event management platforms.
Shifting to a Zero Trust architecture, practice and delivery is complex and a journey that will continue to evolve. At Rackspace Technology®, we want to help our customers on their journey, by offering expert services for Cloudflare® Zero Trust, to help businesses reach their cloud-centric goals faster, support remote workers and provide a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) for cloud applications, data, users and devices.
Download our eBook: Seven Ways To Work From Anywhere, to learn more about how our expert Cloudflare services can help your business bring security and speed to the office of the