A recently released report by a leading research and advisory company, sheds light on why many companies are having a difficult time implementing remote work programs for their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stamford, Connecticut based Gartner, notes that over the past 20 years, enterprises relied on Virtual Private Network (VPN) technologies to enable remote access to applications and data. But over time, user reliance on access to the corporate network diminished as enterprises transitioned to cloud-based applications.
According to Gartner, many enterprises still route all traffic through the corporate network before delivering it to applications in the cloud. This results in such performance degradation that users seek ways to bypass security and instead access the applications directly.
The report from Gartner offers guidance, including a decision tree, for security and risk management leaders to solve the challenges of quickly scaling large-scale modern remote access. You can get a copy of the 9-page report here.
- Most organizations only have capacity and licenses to handle a small subset of users and are not prepared to enable all employees for remote work during critical events such as COVID-19.
- Always-on VPNs are being used for all users’ connections and resource consumption, even when some users only need access to cloud-based applications and data.
- Deployed technology is often out of date and missing required licenses to support the entire organization.
- Organizations frequently lack required bandwidth needed to support all users working remotely simultaneously.
Security and risk management leaders tasked with infrastructure security and enabling remote access must:
- Determine user remote access requirements such as on-premises or cloud applications before choosing or deploying any product.
- Test products for scale to support critical unplanned events such as COVID-19.
- Evaluate the risks of enabling unknown devices previously not used in the organization, such as bring your own PC (BYOPC).
Gartner encourages all enterprises to implement multifactor authentication (MFA) for any kind of remote access, such as phone-as-a-token authentication.
Nathan Muller is the author of 29 technical books and over 3,000 articles that have appeared in 75 publications worldwide. He also writes articles, blogs and social media content for tech companies and their executives.