Lessons learned and best practices for remote workforce network security

Network and security teams had to shift the majority of their workforces to remote practically overnight in March.  The demand for speed prevented them from following all of their security practices or even leveraging some recently acquired technologies.  The existing challenges network teams already faced were (are) compounded with an additional set of obstacles.  It is widely agreed that these challenges will not be alleviated anytime soon – the remote workforce is here for the foreseeable future. Organizations surveyed largely agree on short-term solutions for addressing the security gaps created when enabling the remote workforce.  In the longer term they are considering a range of options to efficiently make the New Normal secure, and in some cases also taking advantage of the change to elevate the productivity, effectiveness and visibility of their security posture and processes.  

Network configuration changes created security gaps – you are not alone

COVID-19 caused a dramatic shift in how companies operate.  Based on surveying large organizations, companies had to increase the size of their remote workforce by a factor of 5 to 7 within a few days in early March.  One large bank went from 5,000 to 40,000 remote employees.  Many service organizations now have over 90% of their workforce working remotely.  Network teams had to deal with a dramatic increase in the number of access change requests to accommodate the shift.  The Office of the CIO for the State of Michigan saw a 30-50% increase in the number of access change requests in March. 

firewall rule changes
From the Office of the CIO for the State of Michigan, the orange bars represent the number of access change requests per month, showing a 30-50% increase in March.

Most IT departments relied on existing, established technologies for enabling remote connectivity.  Companies tended to employ their legacy remote (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Tufin - Cybersecurity & Agility with Network Security Policy Orchestration authored by Ofer Or. Read the original post at: https://www.tufin.com/node/3227