Millions of employees shifted from working in the office to working remotely. This expanded the network perimeter and strained the existing VPN infrastructure leading to overloaded and slow connections. This in turn resulted in reduced productivity due to poor access to cloud applications. The shift to remote work required organizations to send cloud application traffic through a VPN if they wanted to apply network security policy to the traffic. This legacy model of backhauling traffic through a VPN is inefficient, and organizations need to search for alternative solutions that provide faster and more secure connectivity to cloud apps to keep their workforce productive.
Moving your network security to the cloud enables employees to connect directly to all their cloud apps without the need for a VPN.
Not sure where to start? No problem!
Follow this 5-step roadmap to understand how moving cloud application traffic to a SASE platform — and off the VPN — will offer your organization many benefits, including:
- Reducing the amount of traffic coming into the corporate data center;
- Decreasing the number of help desk calls for VPN connectivity or slow access issues;
- Reducing or eliminating your VPN spend
- Boosting employee productivity.
Step 1: Take Inventory
Now is a good time to take inventory of your on-prem proxy appliances and network security solutions to get a better idea of where you can reduce costs and combine security feature functionality offered by a modern cloud platform. Moving to the cloud will allow your organization to phase out on-prem hardware and replace existing connectivity and security with equivalent or better security and faster connectivity.
Step 2: Consolidate Vendors
As you look at the existing security and networking technology stack deployed on-prem, review your contracts and see if there are areas where your organization can consolidate vendors. Solutions to consider consolidating include Secure Web Gateways (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Malware Defense and Data Leak Prevention (DLP). This consolidation will help your organization save on both CAPEX and OPEX expenditures by reducing the amount of hardware and the associated maintenance and support costs. In addition, management complexity could be reduced to a single console for SWG, CASB, Malware Defense and DLP.
Step 3: Adopt Zero Trust
By adopting Zero Trust principles you will increase the security for your organization by moving to a user and role-based security model that allows security policies to be applied to all connections regardless of employee location. Centralizing the policy enforcement and control in the cloud offers security and visibility over all cloud applications to ensure proper access is granted based on the user and their role within the organization. Administrators gain comprehensive logging and reporting to visualize what is happening in real-time. Security and compliance is enforced by a SASE platform and any security alerts and compliance violations can be flagged and investigated.
Step 4: Eliminate VPNs
Some organizations still have a need for a VPN, but there is a transitional shift happening for cloud applications, where the traffic that would previously go through a VPN is directed to a SASE platform. This provides security in the cloud and allows your users to connect directly and securely to any application hosted there. Eliminating –– or reducing the load on — VPNs offers your employees fast and secure connections to video conferencing, email and other cloud destinations, helping to boost their productivity. For the organization, it reduces the burden on the data center and VPN infrastructure by offloading the traffic destined for the cloud.
Step 5: Gain Visibility and Control
Finally, look for a SASE platform that goes beyond offering basic security capabilities in the cloud. Choose a platform that is built with containerization at its core, so all traffic is isolated and secured within the cloud service. This fundamental architectural design gives the cloud platform the ability to support advanced security capabilities such as firewall, full packet capture, IPS, proxy, and more. A containerized SASE platform guarantees performance with traffic isolation and additional capabilities that include seamless Geo-zoning, improved data privacy and regulatory compliance.
Since the platform is built with containerization, and traffic is isolated per organization, the platform will provide dedicated IP address assignments. This allows your cloud applications to remain private by enforcing vendor login policies or integration with third-party apps that requires traffic to come from a known IP address. It also increases the security controls of all your cloud apps by only authorizing and allowing employees coming from the SASE cloud platform to access those cloud applications.
Now is the time to build your roadmap for a move to SASE cloud. Don’t journey alone, the 5 steps we outlined represents a small preview into the networking and security capabilities available within the iboss SASE platform. Let us help you map out the steps that are right for your organization and help start your transition away from VPN to the cloud. iboss wants to help your organization experience the benefits of better security and compliance coverage and faster and more secure access to all cloud applications, regardless of user location.
Learn more about what to consider when planning your SASE migration.