Executive Summary

  • Knowledge worker mobility and the broad adoption of cloud services have challenged traditional “castle and moat” approaches to cybersecurity for some time now. The sudden surge in remote work and the associated direct-to-cloud consumption of SaaS applications have further challenged the role of the physical perimeter in providing secure access to a range of business applications. With users also requiring access to on-premises applications, IT and cybersecurity teams are now charged with providing secure access to resources across a hybrid, multi-cloud environment. This remit necessitates revisiting how we think of the perimeter and reevaluating existing approaches and controls. 

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have long provided the means of remote access, but the access requirements of today’s remote workforce expose notable limitations. The needs to seamlessly support access to both cloud and on-premises applications, enforce fine-grained policy for users, and incorporate contextual information such as endpoint posture assessment are some of the key reasons why organizations are moving away from VPNs. And because VPNs require, by definition, that endpoints be connected to the corporate network, unmanaged, infected devices represent a risk of introducing threats.

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