While teleworking has become part of the “new normal” this past year, there are still areas that need improvement to ensure connectivity, security, and sustainability. According to the recent report, The New Work Reality: Securing Remote Access for the Long Term, by Palo Alto Networks, agencies are laying the groundwork now to create viable telework options for all in the future. However, to make this a reality, there are multiple factors like scalability and security that must be evaluated.
In this report, agency leaders can learn about the best practices needed to provide this remote access, how one agency is already making this possible, and what must be done to prepare for the future. “While many agencies have long had technology in place to allow for sporadic teleworking, those technologies often don’t support the cloud-intensive work environment employees must interact within daily. Today, agencies need more than remote access — they need secure access to cloud applications and the internet that employees can safely use on their mobile device of choice,” stated the report.
And the findings support this stance. According to the report,
- 68 percent of teleworking employees want to increase their telework.
- 63 percent of cyber incidents are caused directly by employees through accidental disclosure, social engineering scams, or malicious behavior.
- 34 percent growth is expected in software-defined wide-area networking, or SD-WAN, tools by 2023.
- 78 percent of security teams plan to deploy Zero Trust network access.
To make remote work a lasting reality, the experts at Palo Alto Networks suggest focusing on security and adding from there with a robust IT architecture. “Traditionally, the VPN was one piece, and the security services were the other pieces, which required traffic to be funneled through a security stack,” said Wayne LeRiche, a systems engineer at Palo Alto Networks. “Secure access service edge, SASE converges these functions through one interface, which results in a secure VPN with distributed security services that give users the same experience, no matter where they are.”
It’s time to move past the VPN and focus on the agency. To do this, agencies must leverage best practices, proven solutions, and the help of a trusted advisor. “At the start of the COVID pandemic every government and state agency had a need to support personnel working in a hybrid model whether at home, in an office, or another remote location,” said Ray Bauer, Director of Public Sector Domain Specialists, Verizon. “Agencies looked to partners who could quickly assess the situation and were able to provide the necessary building blocks and additional services needed to support business outcomes. Workers were enabled to accomplish their work tasks using wireless and wireline networks coupled with the devices, infrastructure, managed services, and security required for mission-critical success – and the path forward leverages that same expertise.”
To download the report, click here.