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5 Key Security Technologies for Work from Anywhere

Jun 22, 20224 mins
Cloud Security

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Credit: iStock

Over the last few months, it’s become apparent that a fair amount of employees aren’t ever returning to the office full time. Some may continue to work from home full time, but some may come into the office a couple of days a week. Hybrid work is the new norm, but to successfully adopt this type of flexible work arrangement, organizations need to extend security to employees no matter where they’re working. The work-from-anywhere (WFA) model presents security risks, so it’s critical for organizations to provide enterprise-level security everywhere employees work, whether they are at home, in the office, or on the road. The following five key technologies keep employees productive and secure wherever they happen to be working.

1. Application Access Control

Implementing a WFA initiative isn’t easy without the security capabilities of Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). ZTNA can make WFA a reality because it provides the same security no matter where someone is located. WFA is the use case ZTNA was designed to support.

ZTNA is often associated with cloud application access, but many organizations don’t operate solely in the cloud. They have hybrid IT with some applications located at a data center or branch location and some in the cloud. Users need to be able to access these resources seamlessly. It shouldn’t matter where they or the resources are located; the experience should be the same.

Organizations need an access policy engine that can provide appropriate access for users in any location based on strong user and device identity, location, device type, and posture to establish secure access. Working in conjunction with a client agent, a next-generation firewall (NGFW) that offers ZTNA built-in and custom security ASIC chips can provide secure access and SSL decryption without performance degradation.

2. Endpoint Protection

Employees take devices such as laptops with them as they move from the office to home and the airport, often connecting through unsecured public access points to access corporate resources. The increase in sophisticated malware means devices can be attacked in virtually any location. Organizations need an endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution that combines cloud-based artificial intelligence with automated playbooks to keep devices and their associated employees productive and safe. Advanced endpoint protection can detect advanced threats and stop breaches and ransomware damage in real-time.

3. Home Network Security and Control

Enterprise-class security needs to extend to home networks, which are a vulnerable and potentially congested environment. Unlike cloud-based security that only looks at employee traffic after it has left the home network, a complete home network security solution will cover all devices in the home and optimize bandwidth for video conferences while also ensuring privacy for the family.

4. Cloud-based Security Services

Securing the network is especially challenging when employees are on the road. EDR and ZTNA can secure the endpoint and control application access, but access to the internet should be protected by a cloud-based secure web gateway (SWG) and Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) services for secure connectivity while traveling. A cloud-delivered security service can protect employees whether they’re working in a coffee shop or an airport.

5. A Unifying Platform for Integrated Security

Trying to secure a WFA environment using a dozen or more vendors or non-compatible solutions for endpoint protection, EDR, identity, and firewall is nearly impossible. A cybersecurity mesh platform helps unify zero trust, endpoint, and network security solutions to deliver fully integrated security, services, and threat intelligence that seamlessly follow users whether they’re on the road, at home, or in the office.

Work From Anywhere Requires Security Everywhere

Protecting employees as they shift between office, home, coffee shop, airport, and everywhere in between has been a challenge for many IT teams, especially as attacks have increased on remote workers. With integrated, comprehensive security, organizations can secure and connect their WFA employees and devices to critical applications and resources no matter where they may be located.

Find out how the Fortinet Security Fabric platform delivers broad, integrated, and automated protection across an organization’s entire digital attack surface to deliver consistent security across all networks, endpoints, and clouds.