Seamless and Secure Remote Access

Mark Lambe

The last week has been the hardest in history for many enterprises, IT administrators and employees. Across the globe, we all have had to adapt to the new world of social distancing brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The week has stressed both the enterprise IT team and systems, as IT admins rushed to assure business as usual for the unprecedented numbers of employees now working remotely from their homes. In our blog last week (Stay Secure and Productive While Working Remotely), we highlighted some of the security challenges to keeping employees safe and how Asavie SD Mobile can assist.

In addition to a secure internet experience, success for businesses both small and large is now dependent on the ability to seamlessly access enterprise applications and data from anywhere and to be able to set this up fast without any technical expertise from the end-users.

Not all business applications are cloud-first

After speaking with numerous business owners last week, it’s clear that businesses still have applications in-house on private servers. One example was an architect practice, in which they shared the problems they faced with enabling remote access. The architecture files in use are simply too large for cloud solutions and latency issues make 3D modeling difficult.

The reality for many businesses is that most employees do their work in the office and inside the enterprise private network. Yes, there are many applications on the internet like Office 365, but these enterprise private applications do need to be accessed securely from anywhere.

For many businesses, there is now a need to quickly address the remote access conundrum, securely and seamlessly. For the architect practice, which is the case across multiple sectors, any delay in resolving remote access translates to a loss in productivity.  Unfortunately, this can lead to penalties further down the road as deadlines are missed.

The resiliency of remote access

Last week many network and service providers spent the week bolstering their capability to assure continued broadband access for their residential customers. From a networking capacity perspective, I believe Netflix’s announcement on the reduction of video quality, is positive for all of us now working remotely.

In a world where domestic internet traffic is dominated by video and gaming content entering our homes, the odd dropped VPN connection while working may be deemed as acceptable. But as days and weeks go by, dropped connections and loss of work will hurt many employees.   

Furthermore, CIOs and IT admins are challenged with the number of seats they have available on the traditional VPN headend(s) in the enterprise. Mainly sold in bundles of 50, 100 or more licenses, enterprises may not be in a position to add an expansion pack and therefore employees may be scrambling to get access.

The real issue for employees is that when the VPN connection drops the license is released into the availability pool and can potentially be checked out by a co-worker, leaving the employee extremely frustrated as their work may not be complete.

A better way of remote working

At Asavie, our connectivity services offer the flexibility of remote access over mobile from any device. As adults and children vie for ISP bandwidth in the home, the idea of a private network slice has great appeal. With so many mobiles now connected to the home Wi-Fi, the level of traffic on many mobile networks is down. The flexibility to tether a laptop to the phone, Mi-Fi or LTE router and work uninterrupted without congestion, makes for an easier life. Plus, it eliminates the “get off the network!” fight among family members.

Asavie’s key services of AccessMyLanSD MobileSD IoT all serve up a private mobile network slice. As our service is network-based, there is no need for mobile VPN clients or mobile apps on the device to remote access the enterprise. From an IT perspective, this maximizes the range of devices that can be used for secure access coverage.

From an IT admin perspective, Asavie helps to minimize connectivity issues and thus reducing trouble tickets over the coming days, weeks and months, ensuring employees get a better user access experience from the home.

Enhanced security

The private mobile network slice means IT gains full visibility and control of all mobile traffic, assuring distractions are minimized during the day, thus helping to maintain a productive working environment.

In addition, a key capability of the Asavie service is the flexibility to terminate mobile traffic in the enterprise using a single secure tunnel (check out our solution brief for IPsec as a service). Not only do enterprises get enhanced security for mobiles, but CIOs and IT teams can scale with ease without the need for additional licenses on the VPN headend.

Future-proofing remote access

All Asavie services use the standard SIM card, so enterprises have the flexibility to enroll devices over the air with minimal disruption to employees. For IT admins, they don’t need the device in hand, which means employees do not need to come into the office, which is a big thing considering the social distancing being enforced with Covid-19.

In a world, in which we all need to remain safe in both our health and work, the simple routine of being able to do our day jobs without frustration will help pass the time away to happier days to come.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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For now, stay safe, stay happy!