Fast track to global remote working means we must secure our locations and not just our devices
With people on the move, working from home, in hotels or coffee shops, managing and securing the locations where we connect has not been easy. Until now
8 December 2020 | 0
In association with Zyalin
We are all on a fast-tracked digital transformation journey. Digital transformation is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or business, to make them better, more efficient and to generate further innovation and creativity. It is supposed to lead us all to a better life, allowing us to carry out tasks quicker and more efficiently. And along this digital transformation journey, there have been wonderful advancements that have led to fantastic improvements in our quality of life. But it has also led to more continuous intrusion in our personal lives, and our increased efficiency has meant that more work fills the void – think work e-mails at 11pm, or pinging device notifications at 4:30am.
Remote working is one of the greater luxuries afforded by the digital transformation journey. It means that we don’t have to spend hours in traffic getting to the office, that we can find more of a balance in our lives and we can be there for the school drop-off or collection without additional stress. Even before the cataclysmic arrival of Covid-19, remote working was on the rise. Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in people working from home. In 2015, 3.9 million US workers were working remotely. As of April 2020, that number was over 5 million and in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, that number has risen hugely, with a businesses forced to switch entirely to a remote workforce.
Amongst the exceptional challenges of Covid-19, one positive effect that it has brought is that employees are happier and more efficient when they are permitted to work remotely. Prior to Covid-19, 80% of polled remote employees said that they are more productive when working from home.
Examine that even in the best of times:
- 76% prefer to be away from their office when they need to concentrate on a project
- 23% of remote workers say they work longer hours than they would on-site
- Those with highly complex jobs that require little interaction with stakeholders are more productive when remote than in an office
- Companies that offer remote capabilities have 25% lower staff turnover than those that don’t
- 86% of polled employees feel that working remotely greatly reduces stress
Remote work really works. The problem is that many companies have been forced by the circumstances of Covid-19 to go remote with little to no preparation. Our everyday technology was not designed to handle the volume of people working remotely. This has left us with significant IT maintenance problems and some serious cyber security vulnerabilities.
Mistakenly, people believe that once they have a virtual private network (VPN) on their machine, that they are secure and safe. They could not be further from the truth. Add to that that our firewalls and VPNs were not built to have the entire workforce working remotely. We do not have the connected infrastructure to be able to support and update all of our workers endpoint devices with ease. We cannot easily deploy our IT security policies and updates to all our company-owned devices or BYOD, because they are no longer connected to our LAN, or available to us in an office down the hall.
We must now move from managing small numbers of remote workers, and instead manage the entire workforce who are working remotely. To do this, we must secure and manage the location from where they are working. We must be able to manage people’s locations, no matter where they are. If we manage the network connection and location, then we can manage all the devices that connect to our networks through those locations.
What Zyalin has done is create a smart, and extremely cost-effective remote working platform. It is designed to tie-in with all existing infrastructure including all major firewalls, so that companies can quickly create software defined networks across their multitude of new ‘business’ locations, otherwise known as employees’ homes. It separates the work network from the public or home network so there is no GDPR or other privacy concern. It can be rolled out instantly and best of all, it is designed to be low-cost, which means companies large or small can avail of it. Everyone needs to mind the pennies, especially in these straitened times. IT departments love it because they can pre-configure it exactly how they want it, and they can now manage devices connected to their network with ease. Add to that it is plug and play tech for the end user with no learning curve. The benefits are endless:
- Monitor network health
- Diagnose local environment issues
- Manage devices connecting to their network
- Integrate with Active Directory to manage automatic policy updates
- Connect all clients to the company firewall through the built-in OpenVPN and WireGuard client
- Ensure secure Internet connection for the end user
- Separate the office/work network connection from public Wi-Fi
To make it even easier, end users can carry the Zyalin remote working pocket-sized solution with them anywhere. This means that no matter what network they are connected to, they can always connect safely and securely to both the Internet and their office environment.
Managing the location is the essential part of remote working that everyone has forgotten about. Our solution plugs that gap, and most importantly, it is affordable. Digital transformation here we come.