Hybrid Work: Better for Companies and Employees

Hybrid Work: Better for Companies and Employees
Hybrid Work banner

Despite offices already at full operational capacity globally and in the Philippines, full-time office setups may not be as common as before. If we learned one thing from the Global pandemic, it would be that remote work can work for some industries. It is not only something that benefits the employee but can also be a major benefit for office productivity. Despite knowing this, many companies that can support hybrid workforces, especially in the Philippines, still push for a full office work schedule. This is due the fact that many in top management are still used to the traditional ways and under the assumption that work can’t be really done productively outside the office.

However, if implemented correctly, hybrid or remote setups can be more effective then a pure office environment. Below are a few points and studies that have been found in the past few years during the pandemic which show some interesting data:

  • 69% of hybrid workers feel engaged, compared to 56% of remote workers and 51% of in-office employees.
  • 73% of hybrid workers are positive about their personal performance, as compared to 69% of remote workers and 65% of in-office employees.
  • 69% of hybrid workers feel engaged, compared to 56% of remote workers and 51% of in-office employees.
  • 73% of hybrid workers are positive about their personal performance, as compared to 69% of remote workers and 65% of in-office employees.

This data was found in a study by Citrix which sampled 900 business leaders and 1,800 knowledge workers around the world. This has shown that even though the pandemic drastically shook the way we work and tested many through unforeseen mental stress, there is still a better way to balance work. 70% of hybrid workers have reported better wellbeing ever since they switched to this work schedule.

Technology as the Driving Force

Hybrid Work technology

To ensure that the implementation of a hybrid workforce is successful, the foundation must be working properly. A common reason why companies in the Philippines may be unsuccessful in seeing an increase in productivity from hybrid or remote work can be from an inadequate system to properly enable their workforce. According to the study by Citrix, the average employee spends around 54 minutes a day dealing with technology challenges. This can be for instance when they need to navigate multiple applications just to execute a single business process and taking time to input multiple passwords and navigating multiple application interfaces.

This is where virtual workspace solutions like Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Secure Private Access can help improve your hybrid work experience. Your workforce will be able to avoid all the inefficiencies from technological redundancies through a single, seamless, and secure UI. Below is the structure Citrix leverages to ensure a good hybrid implementation:

Unify work: Whether at home, on plane or in an office, employees have consistent and reliable access to all the resources they need to be productive across any work channel, device or location.

Secure work: Contextual access and app security, ensure applications and information remain secure — no matter where work happens.

Simplify work: Intelligence capabilities like machine learning, virtual assistants and simplified workflows personalize, guide, and automate the work experience so employees can work free from noise and perform at their best.

To learn more about how you can improve your own hybrid workspace or about Citrix Solutions, you may contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph to set up a meeting today!

Tech Talk: Exploring the CASB Technology

Tech Talk: Exploring the CASB Technology
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Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) technology might be a familiar term if you have been looking for ways to improve your cyber security in the past year. Cloud service has changed the way businesses tackle security due to its mobile nature. Firewalls around the internal network to keep attackers out no longer works thanks to cloud technology. Business data is continuously moving across the public domain from app to app or device to device. IT cannot gain visibility into the business data as well since it is outside the perimeter of the traditional security.

This is where security solutions such as CASB come in to help improve the business’ security. It is in simple terms, a software solution which stands before cloud service provider and user to enforce a business’ security policies. CASB was created with the focus to help organization protect their data from security breaches that fully integrate cloud with their current security infrastructure and policies.

To better understand how CASB works, we need to look at the four pillars upon it is built around:

Visibility

Cloud Access Security Broker visibility

Having vision on users, devices, files, and connections is key to having good security. CASB allows IT teams to monitor what is happening across all third-party apps and enforce specific controls. Having visibility also allows IT find anomalous or suspicious activity such as different log in locations in drastically different locations. Reports and remediations can be done immediately as to limit the stop the unauthorized log in and to verify its authenticity. It also allows IT teams to find the so called “Shadow IT” or unsanctioned cloud apps and check if they meet the business security requirements.

Threat Protection

Cloud Access Security Broker threat protection

As stated above, CASB specializes in securing the connections between the cloud and users. It offers businesses a variety of protection features such as anti-phising, malware (including ransomware), and account takeover protection. On top of that, it can keep track of user behavior across their different application usage to find abnormal activity and remediate and report it.

Data Security

Cloud Access Security Broker data security

Sensitive and confidential business data are now going through and residing in the cloud which existing security can’t account for. CASB can help protect your company from situations like data leaks through labeling, tracking and restricting access to files and other specific information as it travels from device to the cloud. It also can provide different ways of protecting the data through methods such as encryption, tokenization and extremely granular access controls.

Compliance

Cloud Access Security Broker compliance

CASB helps ensure compliance with an organization’s internal security policies, but more importantly, can help with industry compliance requirements. This includes such policies like PII (Personally Identifiable Information), PHI (Personal Health Information), the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This is done through tools within CASB that have mechanisms for auditing as well as reporting compliance issues in real time.

Moving forward, the growth of cloud services means that many companies will have to soon adapt their security to face threats outside the traditional environment. CASB would be a good start for those companies heavily invested in cloud technology or are projected to in the near future.

To learn more about CASB or if your business is looking for help in implementing it to your business, you can email us your inquiries at marketing@ctlink.com.ph!

Zero Trust: Citrix Secure Private Access

Zero Trust: Citrix Secure Private Access
Zero Trust Citrix Secure Private Access header

In today’s hybrid environment, traditional enterprise architecture and security models are not up to standard when faced with the accompanying complex application-security requirements it brings. Companies are now shifting towards SaaS while maintaining their enterprise apps inside their datacenters. This is so that data is more accessible to their users as they collaborate through remote work solutions while still keeping their important applications within their network perimeter.

However, this approach makes the IT environment more complex and challenging when it comes to keeping it secure and easy to manage. Allowing non-compliant or unauthorized devices into your network in favor of BYOD for hybrid work opens up your network to more security risks. This is made evident in the past few years as more cyberattacks have been focused on users rather than businesses.

The common risks and challenges that businesses face can be summarized below:

  • Cyberthreat Risks: Siloed point products cannot provide broad protection against cyberattacks
  • Poor Experience: High latency to access applications when backhauling traffic thought the datacenter
  • Complex Management: Multiple complex and hard-to-manage siloed technologies
  • Too Much Work: Overwhelmed IT staff due to rapid usage and high dependency on VPN
  • Slow Cloud Adoption: Complexity of transitioning to a cloud/multi-cloud architecture
  • Expensive: Overspending on siloed, redundant, and disjointed security technology increases costs

Citrix Secure Private Access

Zero Trust Citrix Secure Private Access summary

Knowing all of the above challenges, Citrix developed a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) security solution that focused on solving them. Secure Private Access is a cloud delivered ZTNA service with capabilities such as adaptive authentication and adaptive access for web, SaaS, and TCP (e.g. SAP, Oracle) applications.

Traditional VPN solutions needed user devices to be managed to access the network which either used more resources then needed or had push back from users using BYOD. It also had the issues of allowing users more permissions or access than needed while having the additional downside of static access control policies. Citrix Secure Private Access on the other hand, allows your IT team a set of security controls to protect against BYOD and limiting the access of users to IT-sanctioned apps. Security policy options can also be applied to devices whether they are a company issued device or a BYO device.

Secure Private Access was not Citrix’s first foray into the ZTNA space as it was preceded by Secure Workspace Access. The main difference is that Citrix has updated its technologies to better handle the current business needs for a ZTNA solution. Below are key features that Secure Private Access has that Secure Workspace Access does not have:

ZTNA to all IT sanctioned applications

Zero Trust Citrix Secure Private Access ztna

As stated above, Citrix Secure Private Access expands its ZTNA to applications running on TCP and UDP- based protocols. A feature not seen in the previous Citrix Workspace access which primarily focused on browser-based applications. This feature allows your IT to apply ZTNA to your business applications whether they are deployed on-premise or in the public cloud even if they are not going through Citrix Workspace.

Adaptive authentication, user risk score, SSO, and enhanced security

Zero Trust Citrix Secure Private Access new

Citrix Secure Private Access can scan end-users devices and then give them a risk score. It then uses this as a basis before it allows any sessions to be established between your network and the device. Risk score is based on the user’s identity, geolocation, and the device-posture assessment. IT then can define how they want users to authenticate and authorize their access to the business application. This gives IT to control the actions users can take within the applications and can be implemented on all sanctioned applications, including Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop service customers.

To learn more about the Citrix Secure Private Access or any other Citrix solution, you may contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph and we would be happy to set a meeting with you at your convenience!

Tech Talk: Privileged Access Management and Zero Trust

Tech Talk: Privileged Access Management and Zero Trust
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In today’s business environment, we are facing an increased amount of risk hitting the business networks. Attacks are becoming more frequent and are no longer just targeted at your perimeter. Threats are now targeting businesses endpoints and users outside your security parameters. Remote work has grown tremendously over the past few years and has contributed to today’s new business standards. Attackers have adapted to these new changes and have shown success in their efforts as successful attacks and breaches have only grown. However, security vendors have also stepped up in stifling these growing concerns by adapting security solutions such as Zero Trust and Privileged Access Management (PAM).

These two technologies have become buzzwords in recent business presentations. However, how many in the industry really understand what both bring to their business security?

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Privileged Access Management and Zero Trust ZTNA

ZTNA or Zero Trust, is a security model that follows the concept of removing implicit trust no matter who is accessing it. This means that any insider or outsider access has to always be verified and authenticated each time they log into the business network.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security solution that has gained traction in recent times. As it is a form of ZTNA in its simplest form, it is considered an entry level solution into adding ZTNA to their security posture. MFA requires users to authenticate through two or more methods whenever they have to access the business network. The methods range from user credentials, one-time password, push notification, etc.

Least Privileged Access (PAM)

Privileged Access Management and Zero Trust PAM

PAM on the other hand, is a system that limits access rights and privileges of users so that they only have access to what they need. In essence, its the difference between having a key that works on every door and one that only opens certain rooms.  To determine which user has what key, businesses need to assess it through role-based access to effectively implement least privilege access. An example would be receptionists of your organization should not be able to access sensitive or critical data like patient records or even financial data.

Differences and Similarities of ZTNA and PAM

Privileged Access Management and Zero Trust comparison

ZTNA and PAM both minimize the risks that come with threats that come from access points of the business network. Conceptually, they both focus on removing inherent trust and limiting access within your network. However, what part of access is where they start to differ.

ZTNA focuses on removing trust of both internal and external users. Internal threats are handled through limiting the internal access that users have, which is usually overlooked. External threats on the other hand, are blocked through measures like MFA that verify and authenticate user identity.

However, once a breach happens, PAM is the specialized security measure that minimizes the attack surface. Attackers using a compromised account will find it harder to move within the system if there are access controls that limit what they can do. Examples of the limitations can range from what assets they can access to accessing them at certain time frames or even without external validation. If none of these measures are addressed, it would mean attackers will not be able to go deeper into the system or laterally move within it.

To learn more about ZTNA and PAM, contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph and we would be happy to consult your business on what best suits your business need!

Tech Talk: Looking at the 3 Main Use Cases for DLP

Tech Talk: Looking at the 3 Main Use Cases for DLP
DLP use cases header

When discussing Data Loss Prevention (or DLP), many would assume that it is more of a problem for the physical infrastructure. Organizations don’t consider that even the cloud can carry risks of DLP as their mindset of human error or data corruption. We went into more detail in our previous article, that DLP covers more than just that and in the earlier stages was referred more as Data Leakage prevention. This is why when remote work was the only option in the past years, as much as 70% of companies suffered from data loss from sources like data breaches, cyber-attacks, and corporate espionage (as per the HIPAA Journal).

DLP solutions at its core, helps protect your data while:

It is in use – by securing data in endpoints or applications while users actively access them or by controlling access to sensitive data

It is in motion – by protecting data by encrypting it while it is being transmitted or through email and messaging security tools.

It is at rest – by protecting stored data while it is in the cloud, databases or any kind of storage through access control, encryption or data retention policies

From the above examples we can already infer what kind of use cases the DLP solutions solve. Let’s now take a closer look at these use cases.

Personal Information Protection / Compliance

DLP use cases PIP

Organizations that collect or store sensitive data like Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), Payment Card Information (PCI), etc. is one use case. DLP solutions can help organizations identify, classify, and tag sensitive data while monitoring activities and events. The reporting features as well of most solutions can help provide the details needed for compliance audits.

IP Protection

DLP use cases IP

Another use case would be organizations that have important intellectual property or trade secrets. Losing or having these data stolen could have a tremendous impact on the business and could even mean its inevitable closure. DLP solutions can use context-based classification to monitor data within your network and combined with policies and control, can prevent the unwanted exfiltration of sensitive data.

Data Visibility

DLP use cases dv

Some organizations want to know how their data is moving and how it is being used by their users. A comprehensive DLP solution can help you monitor and track your data whether they are on endpoints, the network, or in the cloud. This allows your IT team to gain visibility into how your individual users in your organization interact with your data.

Prevent Data Loss With Forcepoint

DLP use cases forcepoint

If your company fits any of the use cases above, then DLP solutions such as Forcepoint can benefit your company. Forcepoint not only includes all the solutions given above in each use case but has additional benefits to keeping your data secure. Forcepoint can report and evaluate all incidents generated by your policies and alert you based on their risk score. It also has the flexibility to integrate and support different third-party solutions like Citrix ShareFile by scanning the content and even scan endpoints like laptops to find sensitive data and apply the appropriate policies for them.

If you are interested in learning more about DLP solutions like Forecepoint or if you want to learn more on how we can help implement a DLP solution for you, you may contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph!

Exploring the Cloud: IaaS and PaaS

Exploring the Cloud: IaaS and PaaS
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The Cloud as a tool for businesses has gone through many different evolutions to better fit the changing technology standards. This was even more apparent during the past few years where remote work became the only way to conduct business. This was not done through the traditional way of how the Cloud was marketed in the beginning. What businesses adapted were now Cloud Services that allowed them to get the benefits of a Cloud Infrastructure by using existing infrastructure of cloud services.

Cloud services have adopted an abbreviation of “as a Service” or “aaS”, the most popular of services are the Platform as a service (or PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (or IaaS). Although they are cloud services, what they deliver to businesses are very different from one another.

Platform as a Service

IaaS and PaaS PaaS definition

PaaS is a cloud service which integrates cloud components into certain software and is usually used for business applications. PaaS provides a platform where developers can concentrate on software creation without having to worry about the OS, software updates, storage, or infrastructure. Below are a few characteristics of a PaaS that can help you identify it from other cloud services:

  • It builds on virtualization technology to increase flexibility in the business when you need to scale up or down resources when the business needs change.
  • Provides your business with different services designed to assist the development, testing, and deployment of apps
  • Accessible to numerous users via the same development application
  • Integrates web services and databases

If you are more interested in knowing what the advantages of PaaS can provide your company, you can refer to the bullets below:

  • Simple, cost-effective development and deployment of apps
  • Scalable
  • Highly available
  • Developers can customize apps without the headache of maintaining the software
  • Significant reduction in the amount of coding needed
  • Automation of business policy
  • Easy migration to the hybrid model

Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS and PaaS IaaS definition

IaaS is a Cloud Service that is made of highly scalable and automated compute resources which are fully self-service to allow accessing and monitoring computers, networking, storage, and other services. Through it, businesses can purchase resources on-demand or as-needed rather than purchasing hardware which can take long or cost more. Below are a few characteristics of IaaS that can help you identify it from other cloud services:

  • Resources are available as a service
  • Cost varies depending on consumption
  • Services are highly scalable
  • Multiple users on a single piece of hardware
  • Organization retain complete control of the infrastructure
  • Dynamic and flexible

There are many advantages to using an IaaS service, below are a few in which may help you decide if it is right for your business:

  • The most flexible cloud computing model
  • Easy to automate deployment of storage, networking, servers, and processing power
  • Hardware purchases can be based on consumption
  • Clients retain complete control of their infrastructure
  • Resources can be purchased as-needed
  • Highly scalable

IaaS vs PaaS

IaaS and PaaS VS

Both IaaS and PaaS are cloud services that help provide your business with its operations using the cloud. The main difference in how they do that is PaaS offers better flexibility and ease of operation whereas IaaS offers administrators more direct control over operating systems.

IaaS and PaaS comparison

Take for example, if your company is looking into building your own website. IaaS can help your company host it and all your business applications. Example services of this would be Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. PaaS on the other hand, would be used to further enhance your website by designing and installing applications into the site. Example services of this would be Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure.

If you are interested to learn more about Cloud Services, contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph and we can further go into detail!

3 Growing Concerns Caused by Hybrid work and How to Solve Them

3 Growing Concerns Caused by Hybrid work and How to Solve Them
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Hybrid work is slowly becoming the standard when it comes to the office environment. Although there is still resistance, the pandemic undeniably has shown that it works. According to a recent survey from Jobstreet, many Filipinos have been working from home (52%) even before the pandemic and it spiked up to 85% during the pandemic. Even now, 49% still prefer working remotely and would rather a hybrid setup than the traditional 9-5 setup. Having to deal with less travel time and having a better work-life balance from remote work are among the top factors that pushed many to prefer it.

However, as much as there is benefits to setting up a hybrid environment, there are also problems that companies must face. Below are few concerns that companies may overlook when shifting into a hybrid setup:

Increasing number of devices and connections

Hybrid Work Concerns Devices

As more companies adopt a hybrid approach, they will see a steady rise in devices connecting to their network. This is due to users finding ways to be more mobile in the way they approach their work. Companies may not be able to provide enough resources into enabling remote work or they may even just prefer to use something they are familiar with. Cloud Applications will provide a solution for these shortcomings as users will be able to access the network in a multitude of ways with different devices. This will however cause the company to lose control and visibility as not all devices may not be compliant with policies.

Security of your network can also be affected by the increase in devices to monitor. A hybrid environment means that your users are not only connecting to your secure network to access the data they need. Working remotely means that they use whatever connection available to them to connect to your corporate network. This can be their own home internet or even those from outside like internet from café’s. This can put your network at risk if any of the devices that are connected are infected and non-compliant to your security policies.

Increasing Bandwidth Demand and Cost

Hybrid Work Concerns bandwidth

Hybrid environments as well entail that more devices will be accessing your network remotely. This can drastically increase the bandwidth needed to handle all the requests to your network. If not properly addressed, it can lead to bad user experience and a drop in user productivity.

Due to the rise of bandwidth demands that additional devices are introducing; many companies are increasing the amount of bandwidth they currently have. This may be the most obvious solution to rising requests to the network, however this will cost companies and will be unsustainable in the long run.

Unrestricted Access to Websites and SaaS

Hybrid Work Concerns access

Hybrid environments bring convenience to users with the flexibility to work remotely or on-prem. This can improve user productivity as it is more convenient for users as they are given the freedom to choose when and where they can work. However, if users are given unrestricted access to both the internet and your network, it will come with risks as well to your network.

Users may access sites that are not allowed during work hours causing a loss in productivity. Your IT team would not be able to monitor or secure data that has been downloaded from your network. This gives them the opportunity to upload data to different sites which may not be secure or can be a venue for data loss. Cyber attacks that use malicious website links can also pose a security risk to your network when infected devices connect to your network.

With SASE Solutions like iBoss, you can mitigate these risks by securing the internet access these devices connect to. Users are able to experience uninterrupted internet access while still complying with your security policies wherever they are. iBoss also allows your team full visibility to these devices through its dashboard and provides detailed event logs for auditing and reporting purposes. With iBoss web filtering, you are able to control what sites your users can access during their work hours while also restricting known malicious sites. Applications access can also be controlled to give access to only what users need to complete their work while also giving the option on limiting the hours or location they can access the application.

To learn more about how to better your hybrid environment with iBoss solutions, you can contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph so we can set a meeting at your convenience!

Accelerating Business to Meet the New Hybrid Workspace

Accelerating Business to Meet the New Hybrid Workspace
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Digital transformation was the buzzword that was used in many talks by IT solutions providers. In 2022 however, it is now a must if customers want to stay competitive in their respective industries. The new normal has forced many companies to retire in the past years if they were too slow or unable to adapt to the new technologies. Even with many companies slowly returning to the office this year, it is still estimated that adoption of digital transformation will not slow down. Below is a few statistics from Forbes showing the future that companies are looking to implement to better their digital transformation:

  • 66% planning to augment a new workforce model with automation and increased use of AI.
  • 70% planning to create completely new digital business models and revenue streams.
  • 73% planning to build seamless data driven digital customer experiences.
  • 74% planning to modernize and digitize operations to support next-gen operational models.

Gartner has also predicted that by 2025, 50% of enterprise data will be created outside of both the traditional datacenter and the public cloud. To better respond and gain insight from these new points of creation, companies will need their compute to be more broadly distributed to prepare for these requirements. Therefore, it will be more instrumental now to choose an infrastructure partner who knows and has the same vision as your company. This is where HPE can help.

Workload Optimization

accelerating hybrid workpace optimization

HPE Compute speeds up your server configuration by offering a wide selection of templates that can help speed up your process. HPE engineers have put countless of hours into workload profiles so that your team does not have to. When your servers are running, HPE Compute (through Workload Performance Advisor) monitors and gives you recommendations on how to best use your resources by adjusting your BIOS settings. Hybrid environments also benefit from HPE Compute as you will be given recommendations on which workloads in your system are best used on the cloud or on-prem. Advise on how to migrate these systems are also given to ease the planning stage to give your team more time to handle other tasks.

Intelligent Automation

accelerating hybrid workpace AI

With IT now spread more outside the office, your infrastructure should be prepared to anticipate demand and be flexible to meet business needs at any time. HPE allows your IT team to manage and monitor your servers anywhere or anytime. This includes also includes AI based features that allow your servers to take more comprehensive approaches in data collection and analysis. It continuously learns from telemetry and develops a baseline on the best working environment for each of your systems, workloads, and applications. It gives recommendations as well on how to better improve performance and preventive measures to ensure your system does not fall into issues later on.

To learn more about the HPE Solution, please contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph so we can set a meeting with you today!

Tech Talk: A Closer Look into Network Access Control

Tech Talk: A Closer Look into Network Access Control
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Many companies are now adopting remote work as the new office normal. This is why it is not uncommon to have BYOD or endpoints moving in and out of the network. This has now made it critical for companies to improve their network visibility to ensure the security of their business network. The increasing number of malware and cyberattacks targeted towards endpoints make it even more apparent. This is where solutions like Network Access Control (NAC) can help companies provide the visibility needed to keep their users and devices secure.

NAC solutions are built to help companies gain better network visibility and access management. It does this through policy enforcement of all devices and users accessing the corporate network. Noncompliant devices can be denied access, put into quarantine, or give only limited access to computing resources to help mitigate security risks. Below a few features in which NAC solutions can improve your network security:

Automated Threat Detection and Response

Network access control threat

With BYOD and users with flexible office schedules accessing your network frequently, keeping up with the alerts generated can be taxing. This is why automated detection and remediation capabilities are a must have to lessen the stress on your IT Team. NAC solutions can automatically detect threats, identify compromised devices while having the ability to quarantine them for network safety. On top of that, user profiling, policy enforcement, guest access, and BYOD on boarding processes are automated as well to lessen the burden on your IT Team.

Agentless Enforcement

Network access control agentless

While BYOD has gained popularity due to convenience, it also has risks when it comes to security. As users use their own personal devices, many policies and security measures are not enforced as you have no control over their device. This is where NAC solutions can help with the agentless enforcement for devices connecting to your network. It applies security measures and policies towards devices without needing to have an agent installed. Granted that it may not be as thorough as having an agent, it allows for more devices to go through the necessary steps to keep your network safer.

Application Extensions

Network access control apps

Some NAC solutions are able to integrate with applications to better augment your security or functionality. This is to better secure popular cloud-based or on-prem applications so that performance does not drop in exchange for better security. Other integrations are for the betterment of security of your network with existing security solutions. This ensures that both technologies compliment one another and lessen your IT complexity.

To learn more about NAC Solutions, you may contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph and we can set a meeting at your convenience!

Enabling Hybrid Work with Microsoft Solutions

Enabling Hybrid Work with Microsoft Solutions
Enabling Hybrid Work Microsoft

Hybrid work is a combination of remote and traditional office work. Globally, it is becoming more widely accepted for businesses to adopt this work arrangement in the past few years. This is because of the flexibility it gives its employees to be able to choose how they work which can help create a better work life balance. However, this set up comes with its own risks when it comes to the operational performance and security. This is what KAO, a Japanese consumer goods company, had to overcome in their journey to creating a hybrid work environment.

Kao was already making efforts towards an ESG management style, meaning more conscious towards environment, society, governance. This made pivoting into Hybrid work easier as they already had many Microsoft applications running in their IT infrastructure. They just needed to narrow down what they needed to improve and how they were going to use Microsoft tools such as Azure Active Directory, Endpoint manager, and Microsoft 365 security to achieve it.

New Security for Improved Communications

Enabling Hybrid Work Security

Kao corporation since its founding, has been slowly expanding its business operations. They have listed this as a long-term goal. However, as the company expands, it would also need to improve their communication to ensure the productivity and success of the branches. The solution the ICT group of Kao concluded that to achieve their goal, they needed an integrated device management system to handle multiple BYOD devices for their remote users.

Microsoft then pointed Kao towards their Endpoint Manager, specifically the Microsoft Intune cloud service that was part of it. At the time, this was a new service and Kao was unsure if it would be the right fit to their goals. However, once they implemented it and experienced what it could do they knew they made the right choice. Through the endpoint manager console, they were able to allow authorized users a wider amount of control. This included the device structure, mobile app protection, and software updates. Even their data that was shared was better protected through the use of the file encryption that allowed only allowed users to view it whether they were inside the organization or a 3rd party.

Company-wide Mobile Access

Enabling Hybrid Work mobilitiy

Kao introduced Microsoft Intunes as early as 2018 and was deployed to its almost 15,000 android devices in just two weeks. They then proceeded to apply Azure AD to add a verification process to provide access control for both on-prem software and their linked cloud services. At this time, they did not know that doing this would be a boon to their company when 2020 started.

Due to the global pandemic, many companies had to adapt to remote work. Kao however, had all the systems in place with Microsoft Intune and Azure AD. Kao was able to centrally control compliance for all devices associated with Endpoint manager. Azure AD gave their employees a secure connection when accessing the company’s internal system from mobile devices or their home setups.

To learn more about Microsoft Intune, Azure AD or any other Microsoft solution, contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph and we would be happy to help your business improve!