In the past year we have seen a decade’s worth of acceleration in business and IT transformation, with digital and work-from-home (and soon to be work-from-anywhere) establishing themselves as new dominant realities, whilst digital transformation agendas are ubiquitously changing how organisations connect with their customers.
Perhaps to state the obvious, but work is happening from home for the majority (by proxy it's happening from anywhere that's not the office for the most part), and with this shift has come an explosion in the scale of remote work locations. As an example, a company with 100 branches may now have 10's of 1000's of home offices now to enable and protect.
This is all whilst the applications we use are everywhere, and are increasingly in the cloud, whether that's public cloud infrastructure or consumed as SaaS.
What's really interesting is that these two different trends are intersecting in a way that is driving the need for network transformation, and with network transformation the need for security transformation too.
A user connecting to an application taking the shortest path, but also importantly a secure path, means that it makes sense for more and more security to be delivered from the cloud, and not to bring traffic back to the data centre or an office for security, only to then trombone it back out to the internet. It is this that is the driving force behind secure network transformation.
Why is it happening?
Cloud delivered security is nothing new, there are of course multiple solutions out there, some of which have been around for a really long time. But the problem is they were designed for a different era, an era where:
- The majority of work was happening in the office
- Users then connected to applications in the data centre
- For remote work this is where "cloud delivered" security was involved
A light touch “cloud delivered” security was more of a nice to have, to compliment a fortified perimeter around a trusted network, and to help make sure that if a remote user needed to connect to the internet, they didn’t do something really bad. If a critical application in the data centre needed to be accessed, it wouldn’t matter too much as they could do it on returning to the office…
But your business is now a remote workforce connecting to applications all over the world, and so this approach doesn’t work anymore. No longer can it be a nice to have from a security perspective, "good enough" is no longer good enough.
What is the right approach?
So you require best in class security, it has to be both comprehensive and enterprise grade, no compromise? But what about user experience and balancing that with a countless increase in the home offices now to enable and protect?
The problem is that Cybersecurity often gets a bad rap, perceived by many end users to be a business blocker... the gatekeeper to productivity, or maybe a moody bouncer at the door of that application you needed to get into before an important deadline.
IT security can and should however be an significant business enabler, supporting agility, innovation and growth as well as being a competitive differentiator (examples such as automating routine, manual tasks with SOAR, or the drives towards efficiency with the shift left to DevSecOps).
But for IT and Security teams, adding a few thousand remote work locations into the mix and a spiralling number of software agents deployed across user devices (that often rely on manual interventions), and exponentially you can have problems with performance, visibility and management, and very quickly a network and security stack which just doesn't scale to the new digital and work-from-anywhere realities.
So if the new normal is employees working from anywhere, accessing applications from anywhere, then central to Cloud Delivered Security needs to be an amazing user experience.
Businesses cannot afford to impact staff productivity, cannot afford to put roadblocks up that prevent them from getting their jobs done. You cannot afford to have your day interrupted constantly by technical interruptions.
Digital Experience Management is a must have for Secure Network Transformation
We are at a watershed moment for Secure Network Transformation, with Cloud Delivered Security being taken to the next level with a fundamentally new approach.
An approach with Digital Experience Management – whereby IT and Network teams can monitor end user experience, have the ability to deliver self-healing infrastructure to remote work locations, and get insights across the entire application delivery path – where it is natively integrated as one with Cloud Delivered Security, to provide secure, high performance access to all applications for all users from anywhere.
And so with the new realities and business norms, a new standard is being set for network, security, and now user experience too.
This technology will be a significant business enabler and competitive differentiator for businesses looking to adapt and thrive, one that enables people to be as productive as they possibly can, with the most efficiency and the least interruption.
Get in contact if you would like to know more on this.