More than three-quarters of companies are affected by the adoption of remote work, as the number of employees working from home increased more than 10 times in 2020. The shift in the way of working forces organizations to give up improvisations and to look for long-term solutions that can ensure extended protection for the end-user and the IT infrastructure. Recently, Datanet Systems organized a webinar, presenting specific ways in which Cisco’s integrated approach to security technologies addresses these current needs.

The adoption of the hybrid work model has increased the pressure on IT departments, especially on those who operate heterogeneous IT architectures. Any organization in which employees work remotely faces challenges such as:

  • verifying the identity of end-users who connect to the on-premises infrastructure;
  • securing employees’ access to sensitive files and data;
    improving protection against increasingly numerous threats;
  • keeping under control the complexity generated by the use of several security solutions and the implementation of several work procedures;
  • aligning with the allocated budgets.

During the “Securing Remote Work with Cisco Technologies” webinar, George Ioniță, IT Security Consultant at Datanet Systems, presented how these requirements are covered through an integrated security system based on Cisco AnyConnect, Duo, Umbrella, and Secure Endpoints. The system, delivered turnkey by Datanet specialists or as Infrastructure-as-a-Service, is designed to meet the specific security, scalability, and flexibility requirements of companies adopting a hybrid – from office and from home – way of work.

The full recording of the “Securing Remote Work with Cisco Technologies” webinar is available below:

 

 

Cisco’s Integrated Security Architecture Components

Datanet’s recommendation of the integrated approach includes the following Cisco products:

  • Secure AnyConnect – “Cisco’s VPN client is the core pillar of remote work, ensuring secure access to data and applications for end-users. AnyConnect integrates multiple capabilities, being a modular solution that offers the possibility to deploy additional features through which the end-user benefits of nearly all the tools needed for an efficient and safe remote work“, mentioned the Datanet Systems specialist;
  • Duo is a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solution that ensure strong end-user authentication for connecting to the company’s IT infrastructure and applications, and can be installed on workstations via AnyConnect. Duo can automatically inspect the health of your equipment – via Device Health functionality – to check for updates, encryption, antivirus or local firewall, etc. Based on this information, the IT administrators and security officers may define different policies, which may allow or block certain end-user rights, such as access to company resources. At the same time, through the Single Sign-On (SSO) component, Duo allows securing many common applications, both from Cisco and from other suppliers such as Box, Salesforce, Google, etc;
  • Umbrella is a DNS-level security solution that acts as a first protection measure by blocking access to addresses with negative reputation, newly created domains, phishing sites, etc. Depending on the type of implementation, through the Secure Web Gateway functionality, Umbrella offers the possibility of aggregating web traffic through a proxy that can decrypt web traffic and perform its granular analysis. The solution is also available as a module in AnyConnect – Umbrella Roaming – and can be installed remotely on workstations through the Cisco VPN client;
  • Secure Endpoint (ex-Advanced Malware Protection for Endpoints) inspects, analyzes and – in case of detecting a malicious file – blocks malware threats. The solution automatically identifies and signals vulnerabilities, detects attacks using extensive threat signature databases, behavior analysis and indicators of compromise, and can block their spread by limiting the access of the compromised equipment to the company’s IT infrastructure and the access of other workstations to the compromised device.

The fifth component, common to all Cisco security applications, is SecureX, a cloud service provided free-of-charge to Cisco security product users that integrates all of the above-mentioned solutions. SecureX provides extended visibility into a company’s security solutions – both Cisco and third-party – from a single interface and enables orchestration and automation of response measures by creating specific workflows for various work scenarios.

Demonstrations of work scenarios

The webinar included a demonstration of three work scenarios in securing the work at home with the Cisco solution:

  • Using a terminal equipment (laptop) not registered in the company’s BYOD system that will be protected against accessing potentially risky sites by installing the AnyConnect client and activating the Umbrella Roaming mode.
  • Using a validated terminal equipment to access the company’s IT resources by enrolling it in Duo and remotely installing Duo Device Health and Umbrella Roaming via AnyConnect.
  • Practical ways to block the access of an infected terminal equipment to the company’s IT infrastructure – by automatically enforcing policies configured in Duo through Adaptive Access Policy – and reallocating access rights once the situation is remedied.

The three scenarios can be viewed by accessing the full webinar recording “Securing Remote Work with Cisco Technologies“.

For more details on the recommended integrated security approach, please download the Datanet Systems guide for securing the remote work with Cisco technology“.