The modern workplace: enabling and securing it

Identifying who and what is connected to your network plus providing adaptive network access is vital in today’s security landscape.

25 October 2018

Juniper Research forecast that there will be 38.5 billion connected devices by 2020; a rise of over 285% since 2015. Add to this that the number of devices will hit 4.3 per person by 2020 and the IoT devices creeping their way into the workplace like Smart Televisions, Alexa for Business and Smart Desks which can tell you when you’ve been seated for too long, and you start to realise that the operational burden on organisations in managing vulnerabilities gets exponentially more complicated. Many have already fallen victim, with Morrisons the latest in a long line of businesses paying the price for a data breach instigated by a trusted employee. It is clear that the subject of Network Access Control is an ever more serious business.

Navigating through the fog of vendors

There are many hardware vendors in the Wired and Wireless LAN space boasting policy-based Network Access Control as part of their portfolio’s feature set. However, many Enterprises are reluctant to take a single vendor approach to Wired and Wireless networking and perimeter security as vendors are frequently not strong enough in these areas to make a single vendor approach possible. Additionally, many of the most prominent data breaches have come from inside an organisation, from an employee or contractor with legitimate network access. These breaches arise due to access being granted to the entire network rather than specific locations pertinent to that individual, or no restrictions being placed on the time of day that network access is granted.

As a consequence of the changing network access landscape, more focus is being applied to the Wired network. For a very long time Wi-Fi networks have been regarded as the obvious ingress point for portable rogue devices, but what about the spare port behind the desk or in an empty meeting room? IoT devices also tend to be wired and often deployed with their standard firmware, offering no security attributes and making them an easy target for hackers. Possibly the most eye-opening example of this was when a Las Vegas casino was hacked after cybercriminals gained access to the network via their fish tank – proof that threat really does live everywhere!

To effectively deal with this new landscape, IT teams need tools that deliver Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) onboarding, policy enforcement, guest access and more. These tools must be hardware vendor agnostic and the same tool must be able to operate across the wired and wireless network.

But how do you make it possible?

At GCI, we take a three-pronged approach that ensures your network is secured, managed and monitored as it evolves: 

  1. Identify: What’s on the network, what function does that device provide, what access do they need and where are they connecting from?
  2. Consult and enforce: Define network access policies that enhance user experience rather than hamper it by providing quick and easy access for legitimate users and devices to appropriate locations and resources.
  3. Monitor, manage and protect: Ensuring the network is protected through dynamic policy controls, real-time threat remediation, ongoing security patching and network monitoring.
The result? You gain a level of automated network access that’s tailored to your specific requirements, offering an excellent user experience that enables the IT team to focus on innovation, instead of firefighting and granting network and resource access.
 

Want to learn more and experience our security platforms for yourself? Take advantage of our free consultancy, review and analysis of your current business systems and infrastructure, worth £850! To book, simply email enquiries@gcicom.net.


Andrew Napier
Network & Infrastructure Product Manager

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