True North Networks Blog
Enterprise Readiness Tips For Working From Home
We tend to perform to our fullest potential when the circumstances force us to find a possible solution. Many organizations make regular investments in their business continuity planning to minimize the impact on business operations during a disaster. The real puzzle is that emergencies come in various shapes and sizes, and on top of that, no one can predict them.
It's important to understand that there is a learning experience in every situation. Our current circumstances have sparked a new era of working from home. What was once used occasionally by our workforce or on a small scale is now a new normal.
We need to be creative and learn quickly from the currently available options to ensure that our workforce is productive and wholly engaged with organizational objectives, even if they cannot report to the corporate office or collaborate face-to-face in a meeting room. Let's take a look at what we can do to equip our staff with the right tools.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Almost all organizations have a VPN solution to enable their staff to work remotely. VPN connects a remote network to an organization's network using the internet over a secure "tunnel" using SLL (secure sockets layer) or IPsec (internet protocol security).
Many organizations only have limited resources dedicated to supporting the VPN function. But if we want our workforce to be productive, we need to think about our current VPN solution's abilities. Here are a few things to consider:
• VPN scalability
You should have the ability to scale up the computing of your gateway to support the increasing load of users. It is essential to plan for multiple gateways, as that will not only help sustain multiple sessions but help prepare for regular maintenance without any downtime. Organizations can also plan to host their VPN gateway on the cloud, which will allow them to scale up or down as per the requirements.
• Effective use of split-tunneling
Ensure that your VPN solution is used effectively, as investing in more and more resources will increase your expenses. The solution should be designed in such a way that some destinations or specific applications can be put in pass-through or are accessible outside the VPN tunnel, like video streaming.
• Visibility and reports
The VPN portal should allow excellent visibility into resource usage, top applications in use, top sources and destinations. The security alerts should be monitored carefully, as a significant part of the workforce is coming in from a remote network. You can even set up a system to perform a proactive check, and if the user meets the criteria, then they'll be allowed to log in to the VPN. The reports can identify how many users were denied VPN access and that data can be used to set up new guidelines.
• Use of SDWAN and SASE
The latest developments in the field of networking like SDWAN (software-defined wide area network) along with SASE (secure access service edge) provide a lot of advantages. The partnerships in these fields have made it possible for customers to see benefits like scalability, split-tunneling and no backhauling (direct access) in new-age VPN options without any significant investments in their on-premises infrastructure.
These new options come with the benefit of ease of management. All of the network and security policies can be centrally managed, and with a few clicks, you can make a change in the network routing and application behavior.
It is essential to collaborate daily and share your views with your colleagues even though you may be miles apart. Organizations need to make sure they have enough licenses to support the growing demand for a video conferencing tool, and all employees need to be trained on how to make the best use of it. Additionally, be sure your video conferencing tool can be integrated with your calendar and mail system to enable employees to schedule meetings from all available communication systems.
While we can choose all of the best-in-class systems, nothing can replace our efforts to keep in touch with our workforce. We need to ensure that we are working with them during this difficult time and that they stay focused and continue to collaborate. Plan for regular videoconferences using different forums and one-to-one calls to touch base so that all staff members can share their views and be productive while working remotely.