The last decade has seen a gradual adoption of remote working policies but with circumstances over the last year, many businesses have had to make the leap to remote working for the first time, whether they were ready or not. With high vaccination rates and phased lifting of lockdown rules, it won’t be long before we see the start of the greatly awaited return to offices. However for many the last year has changed operations permanently, where a more flexible way of working will become the ‘norm’ and the term ‘remote working’ will fade into a distant memory of the way things used to be.
It’s a different kettle of fish having a few employees working remotely at any one time and then suddenly having your entire workforce trying to access the company ecosystem from a huge range of locations at once. This is where secure network connectivity is the saviour many companies are desperate for; it brings a myriad of benefits, including flexibility, continuity and a foundation for digital transformation at pace. Looking at the future of work, these benefits become even more pertinent.
For Financial organisations especially, it’s more important than ever that the right networking and security solutions are in place to enable secure connectivity for this new flexible workforce. They rely heavily on rapid communication, which is best served by having everyone and everything in one physical location.
Remote access infrastructure had never been designed to handle the volumes of traffic that companies are now experiencing with their employees working at home, and it is forcing businesses to look at operations and continuity differently. They may try to scramble for additional IT kit for their data centres to cope with the huge pressures and expand capacity.
However, this isn’t a silver bullet solution; the technology would need to be found, procured and delivered – with adherence to lead times which can run up to 60-90 days and a potential high CAPEX layout. Even with all that checked off the list, the new infrastructure would also need people to physically install, deploy and test the new set up before it can start to provide the benefit intended.
Stepping into the new normal with ease
This is where cloud-based networking and security solutions can come to the rescue; companies need a solution which can be implemented right now, remotely. Having a secure access service edge (SASE) platform can help alleviate pain for businesses by helping them operate a more flexible, secure, resilient and cost effective network. Implementation of a full SASE solution should be approached in phases for faster time to market and a competitive edge, instead of the traditional method of a 12+ months transformation project. Finance companies rely on being able to do things quickly and that’s exactly what SASE is built for.
For Fintech companies that rely on data processing as a cornerstone of their business, a secure cloud-based SASE platform will allow them to move traffic as needed. Fintechs can use the cloud-based platform’s flexibility and scalability to adjust on what they need to use at that moment in time, enabling faster deployments and ensuring workers can keep working. SASE can also help keep costs down which is critically important as businesses face the challenges of the last year.
Ensuring cyber security
For the Finance industry in particular, a clear approach to risk appetite and an understanding of the security challenges and needs they face in this change of set up is needed. Finance companies hold a lot of valuable and sensitive data, and they must be able to trust that they can transfer it securely. Cyber criminals have jumped on the opportunity to exploit the pandemic, using cyber attacks to steal information to sell on the black market or threaten to shut down businesses unless paid.
SASE can provide the secure access to systems and data that businesses need in order to function safely. Using a cloud-based SASE platform can help a company integrate risk data and assessments to create a list of risk indicators, ensuring they are staying on top of potential cyber threats and how to mitigate them.
Looking to the future
As well as fixing short-term remote working issues, SASE platforms can create a foundation for future change. Starting with SASE deployments now can be a strategic component to be leveraged for further digital transformation of IT infrastructure later down the line. Companies who have adopted cloud-based SASE platforms will be thankful they have been proactive in choosing a secure solution that can protect their organisation and be scaled up or down to cope with whatever demands are placed on it.