Forcepoint today unveiled a pair of cloud services to enable the secure delivery of application services by leveraging network services delivered via the cloud more easily.
Ravi Srinivasan, vice president of solution and platform marketing, said at the core of Forcepoint’s Dynamic Edge Protection suite is a cloud security gateway that combines the company’s web gateway, cloud access security broker (CASB) and data loss prevention (DLP) technologies into a single offering that can be managed centrally. IT teams can leverage the gateway to invoke an SD-WAN service provided by either Forcepoint or a cloud platform on which the cloud security gateway is deployed, he said.
As part of the Dynamic Edge Protection suite, Forcepoint is also launching a Forcepoint Private Access cloud service that provides true zero-trust remote access and a built-in firewall as a service (FWaaS) to provide secure access to on-premises applications without requiring IT teams to install and manage virtual private networks (VPNs).
Collectively, the Dynamic Edge Protection suite is what Gartner now describes as a software access service edge (SASE) platform, said Srinivasan.
With more employees now working from home regularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Srinivasan said Forcepoint Private Access provides a remote access service that is easier for IT teams to deploy and manage now that they, too, are working remotely more often.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, many IT teams turned to their existing VPNs to quickly enable large numbers of employees to work from home on what was initially thought to be a temporary basis. Now that it appears more employees will be working from home on a semi-permanent basis, many IT organizations are now re-evaluating their entire approach to providing remote access, especially as they move application workloads into the cloud.
At the core of those remote access strategies is increased reliance on SD-WANs. However, rather than acquire and deploy SD-WAN appliances, many organizations are opting to rely on SD-WAN services available via a cloud service provider or a provider of a dedicated managed SD-WAN service. The Dynamic Edge Protection suite from Forcepoint is intended to make it easier to invoke and lock down those SD-WAN services via a single management console.
Srinivasan said IT teams can also reduce networking and security costs. Customers can purchase an annual subscription to Cloud Security Gateway element for $99 per user per year or the Private Access service for $79 per user per year. The Cloud Security Gateway alone represents a 30% reduction in software cost of ownership compared to rival platforms, he said.
Given the current state of the economy, it’s not clear at what rate organizations will be revamping their approach to remote access. It’s relatively trivial to support a small percentage of employees who need to work remotely on an infrequent basis. However, when most of the organization is working remotely, existing approaches to remote access generally prove cumbersome to manage. The challenge is finding a way to enable remote access at scale in a way that doesn’t break IT budgets, which are increasingly becoming more constrained.