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Three ways to control remote work security when employees are at home

Dee Dee Pare

When staff use LTE solutions while working outside the office, IT teams have options for protecting the expanded network edge

Houses, bungalows, mountain cabins, beach rentals, relatives’ guest quarters, and more — there’s a good chance your employees are no longer working from a traditional office. For most organizations, the standard work from home approach for many years has been to install a remote access client or VPN on everyone’s PC or laptop, but this doesn’t give employees the dedicated connection they need to isolate work assets from the household’s, and it doesn’t always provide sufficient latency for important applications.

That’s why many companies have begun providing LTE-enabled wireless networking solutions that mission-critical workers can use at home, including business routers that are easy for anyone to set up quickly. However, this practice raises some critical challenges for IT teams. How do you protect all edge devices from intrusions or breaches? And with so many devices now operating at the widely distributed network edge, how do you make sure everything and everyone apply the network security principles necessary to comply with industry-specific security regulations and guidelines?

There are a few ways for businesses to extend a secure edge to everyone who’s working off-site.

Secure Direct Internet Access for Cloud-Only Work

Some organizations have operated their networks entirely using cloud-based applications and collaboration tools accessed over the public Internet. Within this Direct Internet Access approach, commonly used Internet-only tools include Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, and teleconferencing platforms such as Zoom and WebEx. With this approach, it’s important to have sufficient application-aware security, single points of control, and tools that help assign the appropriate access so only authorized users and devices can access applications.

Building Secure Access to the Datacenter

In some companies, all the data that employees interact with is on the corporate network at a traditional datacenter. This type of data comes through enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms; enterprise risk management (ERM) systems for healthcare; internal databases; and just general, old-school digital file storage.

IT teams usually use secure, point-to-point VPN tunnels through the edge routers to secure this corporate information that hasn’t yet been moved to the cloud. Additionally, certain industries have security requirements, based on regulations, to add content filtering and unified threat management (UTM) to ensure sufficient protections.

Using a Hybrid Approach with Split VPN Tunnels

Many companies have a mix of the latest online tools and traditional network architecture as they shift workloads to the cloud. For example, they may have a multi-faceted data storage approach, with some less sensitive or shared information going through the public Internet and other sensitive or proprietary corporate data headed to and from the datacenter.

This hybrid security approach works best if your organization supplies employees with enterprise-grade wireless routers in their home that can support a variety of security features and configurations.

One Solution Accommodating All Work From Home Security Options

Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service and wireless edge routers featuring built-in LTE support all of the security and WAN and LAN connection configurations that your organization might need for employees working from home and elsewhere.

Learn more about this highly flexible solution in our work from home solution brief, and dive even deeper into remote work security in this webinar. Explore how work assets can be isolated from other household connections and corporate security policies can be applied wherever people are working.

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