Remote Work and What It Means for the Future of Network Architecture

If you had asked any pundit going into 2020 about remote work trends for the coming year, most would have predicted an upswing, due largely to the need to stay competitive as wars for talent were raging. “Work from home” was considered an employee benefit and posed an opportunity for companies to tap into qualified workers based in other locations. This seemingly progressive view of the world now seems like a lifetime ago.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s entire workforce, save for essential employees, went remote in the blink of an eye. Additionally, nearly 40 million people filed for unemployment, meaning the pipeline is now wide open for finding necessary talent in the majority of industries. Remote work is no longer a luxury — it’s survival.

Within this upside-down world, enterprises face new issues. Among them, their corporate VPNs are getting hammered, and network management and security has become even more complex for IT teams stretched thin and operating under tremendous strain.

While enterprise leaders know that COVID-19 will eventually end, few believe that work will ever go completely back to “normal.” Between the establishment of new remote work habits and the fear that another unforeseen crisis could send their entire workforce home again, companies are formulating strategies to protect their networks, operations and employees.

The Big Issues

Prior to March, advancements in collaboration technologies had led enterprises to allow more employees to work from home — typically a day or two a week. Despite this, networks and infrastructure were never built to enable an entire workforce to work remotely all at the same time for even a single day, let alone for weeks or months.

Where this becomes a problem is that companies still have to maintain all of the machines and devices connected to the network, and it gets a whole lot more complicated when everyone is out of the office. Deploying software, updates, and patches is a vital part of endpoint management and security. At the same time, this type of content distribution often requires a lot of bandwidth even in the best environments. When attempted over VPN under the current circumstances, it’s just too much. As a result, many endpoints won’t receive their updates — at least not as often as needed. This is incredibly risky because bad actors are well aware of growing network holes; they will not hesitate to exploit any vulnerabilities.

#digital transformation #vpn #remote work #covid 19 #mdm #neural networks

Remote Work and What It Means for the Future of Network Architecture