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The Next Norm: Improving Network Resiliency and Security to Support Work-From-Anywhere (Part 4)

John Antanaitis
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In Part 1 of this blog series, The Next Norm: Prepare to Work-from-Anywhere, we looked at the recent, explosive growth in work from home and the transition to the new norm, work from anywhere. Part 2 of the series, Next Norm: Work-from-Anywhere Performance Management, reviewed the need for Network Performance Management (NPM) and key considerations for evaluating NPM solutions. In Part 3, The Next Norm: Work-from-Anywhere Application Delivery for Productivity we discussed the challenges and opportunities in ensuring fast, consistent application delivery to your work-from-anywhere teams. In this, the final blog of the series, we’ll offer a leader’s perspective and guidelines to improve network resiliency and security to support work-from-anywhere models.

The threat: work-from-anywhere means potential threats from everywhere

Just as quickly as the enterprise went home to work, so did the cybercriminals. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to beat your defenses. You build them; they find the chinks in the armor. Recently, security experts have reported an increase in phishing and compromised VPNs. In fact, per Google, phishing attacks increased 350% from Jan 2020 to Mar 2020.

And, it’s not just phishing. COVID-related DDoS attacks are up, leading to inaccessible apps for your end users. DDoS attacks take down websites and VPNs, which means your customers can’t do business with you and your users are unproductive. Time down equates to lost revenue, and without proper visibility, security breaches go undetected for longer periods and are more difficult to mitigate.

DDoS can also hide other more insidious attacks. While you are busy trying to recover from the DDoS attack, the cybercriminal may be launching a second more dangerous attack hidden in the noise. This attack may be designed to exfiltrate data, passwords, or just stay hidden until needed.

With a work-from-anywhere workforce, data breach concerns are also heightened – and rightfully so. With IBM reporting a mean time for breach detection of 197 days (and another 69 days to contain them), it’s no wonder that 75% of security experts are not satisfied with the speed and capabilities they have in responding incidents.[i]

The challenge: securing the complex, work-from-anywhere network

As the workforce has become more mobile and applications have expanded to SaaS and cloud, enterprise networks have grown increasingly complex. Digital businesses need secure, reliable networks to support their distributed employees wherever they work while minimizing risk to the business. Organizations also need to manage a mix of legacy infrastructure and application models in conjunction with modern applications distributed across on-premises data centers as well as in multiple public clouds.

Add to this the increased dependency on unpredictable last-mile networks for remote workers and the challenge becomes even more painfully obvious: detecting and responding to the increase in cyberattacks and the broader attack surface due to the growing number of remote endpoints is growing increasingly more difficult.

As result, most organizations rely on 3-6 tools to monitor their network, but the multiple, disjointed data streams often add their own analysis complexity to the issue instead of providing advanced insight and quicker mitigation. And, looking to cloud for the latest in protection only helps so much, as the point solutions provided by cloud vendors are insufficient. They only provide insight into cloud elements of their network, not hybrid or multi-cloud networks.

So, what should enterprise securers do?

The right approach: unified visibility to see everything and intelligence to take appropriate actions

At Riverbed, we agree with the EMA on this: “Integrated platforms are more effective at performance monitoring than standalone, best-of-breed tools.”[ii] Why take our word for it? Well, for starters, we’ve been recognized by Gartner as a Leader in every MQ on Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) since 2012 – and, we deliver the only unified NPM solution in the market.

Securing your work-from-anywhere network is no place to cut corners. Make sure that your organization is fully prepared by confirming that your solution does the following before you buy:

  • Improve overall network performance by 59%.[iii] Provides comprehensive visibility across hybrid networks, applications and infrastructure in a single solution to support modern, work-from-anywhere teams.
  • Reduce MTTR by 65%.[iii] Leverages full-fidelity data: captures all packets, flows, and infrastructure metrics, 100% of the time to identify and respond to threats due to data exfiltration, password brute force attempts, blacklisted sites, DDoS attacks, etc.
  • Reduce network and application blind spots by 53%.[iii] Applies machine learning and AI to network flow, packet and device data to detect anomalies, respond to network security threats faster, mitigate risks, and avoid exposure by identifying unknown threats that lurk in your environment using network threat intelligence.
  • Improve IT collaboration by 41%.[iii] Delivers integrated end-user experience, application, network and infrastructure performance into a single dashboard as well as role-based views to improve visibility of hybrid environments.
  • Improve user experience by 59%.[iii] Insights into device and interface health, configuration monitoring, and path analysis to ensure high-performing apps.

Riverbed’s unified NPM solution does all of this and more. If you’re looking to improve your network resiliency and security to support your work-from-anywhere workforce, the safe bet is Riverbed!

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[i]  Forbes, The Speed Of Business: How Automation Improves Operations And Security, June 2019

[ii] Enterprise Management Associates, Network Performance Management for Today’s Digital Enterprise, Shamus McGillicuddy, May 2019

[iii] The Benefits of Riverbed Unified NPM, TechValidate, July 2020

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