COVID-19 is forcing organizations to establish or enhance remote work processes, structures and policies. This development has increased the pressure on organizations (Authentic8 included) to rethink investments to enable remote work access.
How can IT ensure and scale safe access for a variety of business-critical scenarios, while protecting existing technology investments?
To keep costs down, most organizations (ours included) invest in remote access capacity based on the needs of a subset of workers, but not the entire organization. To keep our team and their families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Authentic8 has adopted a work-from-home mandate.
Like many other companies small and large, we are now facing the need for a significant remote access expansion to keep everyone productive and protected. What will it take?
Expanding remote access infrastructure to manage through what hopefully will be a short time has caused us to reconsider traditional approaches. One of the reasons is that we don’t know if supply chain challenges caused by COVID-19 will let us deliver upgrades to our company infrastructure in time.
Another reason is that we don’t know if traditional approaches are sustainable or desirable. We can learn from this crisis to make us a more resilient organization. If we’re going to invest, we’d like to invest in a better way instead of doing more of the same.
So we’ve decided instead to make a deeper investment in our own product adoption (bias fully admitted, I’m a believer and a fan).
Our product, the Silo web isolation platform, is cloud-based, so it isn’t constrained to the same supply-chain rules that apply to physical appliances.
Another advantage: It’s also cloud-agnostic, which allows it to run in public or private infrastructure.
To accomplish our goal, we’re planning a little bit differently than traditional organizations. We have organized the company into several groups:
We’re moving to place all web-based SaaS workflows into Silo, regardless of device or network location. We’ll be in Silo on corporate networks and home networks alike. This brings about a set of improvements:
To use Silo, we’re asking employees to install a small local display agent on unmanaged machines at home. IT has already installed the same agent on corporate-managed assets. For anyone unable to install executables, there is a web-based display agent available that runs in modern web browsers. Employees will perform work from within their Silo session and browse from the internet as they’ve always done.
This has several benefits:
To be clear, this isn’t the only way Silo can be adopted. It’s our approach, as an effective way to get immediate results under current conditions, and we may partially shift or completely change it in the future.
We hope COVID-19 will be contained quickly, before it can cause more harm than it already has. It has forced us as an organization to explore new ways for greater adoption of our own product. If you find your organization in the same situation, we’d be happy to have a further conversation.
Looking for a step-by-step primer? Get our detailed Guide for CIOs and CISOs: Rapidly Enabling Remote Workers in Time of Crisis.