It’s no secret that 2020 is experiencing explosive growth in employees working from home. Organizations around the world must now extend the security controls typically used to protect a handful of remote employees to almost everyone, aside from essential workers. Juniper Networks’ Mounir Hahad, Head of Juniper Threat Labs, and Mike Spanbauer, Juniper Security Evangelist, recently sat down with Rick Howard, Chief Analyst at The CyberWire, for The CyberWire-X podcast to discuss the strategy and tactics needed to deploy flexible yet equivalent controls securely and at scale to enable remote work for large organizations.
In the podcast, we discuss how practitioners are dealing with the challenges of the recent pandemic. Seemingly overnight, our own team at Juniper Networks flipped the workforce from roughly 20 percent of remote workers to support almost 100 percent of employees to work from home (WFH). While the transition had its ups and downs, it was a seamless technology transition for Juniper employees.
Our successful transition was aided in part by the fact that we were already operating a WFH program for a portion of our staff and also because we are a networking company. Scaling is always a challenge, but not all organizations had the head start that we did.
Chief among these concerns was a rapidly expanding attack surface and having the necessary skills and experience within the IT team to support a WFH deployment that needed to scale to support our +9,000 employees around the world. Many organizations do not know what they don’t know, with regards to the risks of WFH, and this can lead to either significant reluctance to engage with this operational modality and/or highly vulnerable deployments.
Fortunately, Juniper Networks’ customers proved the shift to WFH entails a change in the organizational security posture and, collectively, their teams were quite receptive to security awareness training. The attitudes of organizations of all sizes has evolved over the years and, despite the cynicism that many in the security industry have, there does not appear to be as much of a lackadaisical approach to security as would be expected, if this shift to WFH happened a decade ago.
What we have seen from our customers is an uptick in organizations that are embracing advanced WFH security measures. This includes the use of Juniper SRX Series firewalls and Mist Access Points (APs) to provide advanced network defenses for employees working from home who need access to resources that may not be able to be secured using a VPN.
WFH is a significant challenge, but over the past several months, we’ve proven that we have the technologies to enable organizations to scale their WFH efforts rapidly, securely and simply. Defend your entire network from the endpoint to the edge and across every cloud in between with Juniper Connected Security.