Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nobody would think, by mid-2020 more than %75 of the workforce would be working from their homes. Because during the pre-pandemic years, only %8 of the workforce worked remotely. But, with the pandemic, the numbers turned upside down, and people who continued the on-premise working model became the minority. As of 2022, for most people, the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but the drastic changes that came with the pandemic still continue.
Even though there are no lockdowns or curfews, the vast majority of employees don’t want to turn back to the offices for good. That’s why many businesses embrace the hybrid work models and allow employees to work from their homes on certain days of the week. By all means, the hybrid work model is really beneficial for both parties, and it has become a permanent work model for all sizes of businesses.
But, hybrid work models present serious cybersecurity risks to businesses. For this reason, businesses must enforce cybersecurity policies and measures to keep their private corporate networks, resources, and remotely working employees safe against cyberattacks. In this regard, there are a number of cybersecurity solutions that can deliver secure remote access to remotely working employees. In this article, we’ll explain how to enable secure remote access for remotely working employees by using four cybersecurity solutions. Let’s take a closer look at each one of the modern cybersecurity solutions for secure remote access.
1- Virtual Private Network (VPN) Solution
A virtual Private Network (VPN) is the first solution that comes to people’s minds regarding secure remote access features. Today, in the VPN market, there are various products and different types of VPNs. Although there are few distinctive features among different types of VPNs, there are two things in common between each one of them, and these are secure remote access and data encryption. All VPNs create private tunnels between employees and private corporate resources over the unsecured public internet and enable secure remote access regardless of location, device, or internet connection.
While working remotely employees can go to public places and work from coffee shops, co-working spaces, or airports. When they work from these places, they can use unsecured wifi connections to access corporate networks, and these connections present severe security risks, and the usage of VPN eliminates these risks and securely connects employees to corporate networks and resources even when they use unsecured wifi connections.
Additionally, while using a VPN, nobody can watch what your employees are doing online. VPNs establish their online anonymity and privacy while improving network security. On top of these, VPNs use end-to-end encryption and lock all data in transmission, and make them look nonsensical. This feature mitigates the risks associated with data loss.
2- Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) Solution
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a cutting-edge technology that is used for network security. In the cloud computing market, it is very popular and every day more businesses implement this framework. Zero Trust secures end-point users, devices, and applications and enables secure remote access. This framework’s mantra is “never trust, always verify” and it shapes its core idea around the least privileged access principle.
Zero Trust always assumes that every user, device, and application can be hostile and compromised, that’s why continuous authentication is required for accessing private corporate resources that are stored in physical data centers and cloud environments. For authentication, this framework uses multi-factor authentication (MFA), biometrics, and single sign-on (SSL) methods. MFA and biometrics tools improve network security as they make sure only authorized employees are able to access private corporate resources and data. Additionally, while using this framework, businesses limit employees’ access privileges and nobody is able to access resources that are beyond their privileges.
Zero Trust has user activity, and behavior monitoring features that enable granular visibility on private corporate networks. This way, businesses can detect all occurring threats and anomalies quickly and isolate them. This framework applies network segmentation to the private corporate network and divides it into smaller sub-segments. Between segments, lateral movement is rigorously prohibited, and employees who try to move laterally will trigger an alert. In the event of a cyber attack, the surface areas of the attack will be small thanks to the network segmentation strategy.
3- Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Solution
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-native networking and security architecture, and it is very popular in the cloud computing market. SASE architecture consists of 5 main security and networking components and these are; SD-WAN as service, Secure Web Gateway (SGW), Firewall as Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). SASE enables secure remote access by using SD-WAN as a service.
When employees request access to corporate networks and resources, they are directly and securely connected via SD-WAN. We can think of SD-WAN as a virtual high tunnel, and before employees are connected to the networks, Zero Trust authenticates their identities. All components of SASE operate as one, and they enable end-point, cloud, and on-premise security. SASE has multiple security components and these maintain enhanced security across all corporate resources as they constantly search for unwanted malware and software inside the cloud perimeter. Additionally, they prevent all unauthorized entities from gaining access. Shortly, SASE enables improved network performance and enhanced security and mitigates cybersecurity risks.
4- Smart Remote Access Solution
Smart Remote Access solution is one of the best ways to enable secure remote access for employees. This security solution helps employees create a virtual local area network (LAN) to reach the devices inside the private network perimeter. While using smart remote access, employees can access company servers, resources, and data from any location, and they can share files, and documents with each other securely.
Smart Remote Access solution allows IT admins to control devices remotely, this improves end-point security. Additionally, the remote control is really beneficial because when problems occur in employees’ devices, IT admins can intervene and fix these problems at once. Shortly, smart remote access solutions create secure connections between employees and corporate resources, and it helps businesses manage end-point security.
In our modern world, hybrid work models have become a permanent work model for all sizes of businesses. But, when employees work remotely, cybersecurity risks exponentially increase. That’s why businesses should implement cybersecurity solutions that can enable secure remote access to remotely working employees. Virtual Private Network (VPN), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), and Smart Remote Access solutions are the best tools for secure remote access. Implementing one of these solutions will improve the end-point and network security.