Hostinger is a hosting service provider for developers and their customers. With 1.2 million users worldwide and growing, the company works hard on improving customer support and continues updating its server technology for an even better customer experience. On the side, teams are fine-tuning home-designed hPanel, so the work there runs in a high pace environment.
To support business projects and a large customer base, Hostinger has several departments to maintain all the projects and services up and running. Therefore, originally based in Kaunas, Lithuania, the company now has an extensive team of over 1000 employees in 51 countries across the globe. Yet a large team brings its challenges in times of change. Egidijus Navardauskas, Head of Cybersecurity at Hostinger, gives his insider experience on their journey of implementing remote work in extreme situations.
Rapid organization onboarding to remote work during lockdown
Hostinger as most of the companies in the pre-pandemic time, lived a daily office-based life. However, it changed during Covid as all teams started working remotely and adjusting to the new way of living.
“Before the pandemic, we used to work from the office full time — there was no need for most of the teams to use an internal VPN solution except for a part of the IT staff.”
Once the lockdown period came into effect and workforce borders started expanding, the existing VPN solution limitations were revealed. It wasn’t initially built to scale sufficiently and provide a reliable VPN connection to handle the fast growth of remote employees in different countries.
The employee distribution and work from personal networks required the company to grant them a swift connection to internal resources. However, operational continuity was at high risk, and the current setup lacked role-based network access controls for maintaining security levels.
Replace the existing VPN with a more agile solution
The employees used to work from the office all the time, and only a part of the IT staff was using an internal VPN solution as there was no need for most of the teams to access internal resources after working hours.
“As Hostinger had to move to a remote working model due to the pandemic and fast growth of remote employees in different counties, the existing VPN solution was not scalable enough to handle many users.”
Transitioning from an on-site environment to remote work quickly can be challenging for any business. Especially in the case of Hostinger, which experienced a sudden necessity to change its work and infrastructure approach.
Ad-hoc tasks are difficult to squeeze into tight schedules even in extreme circumstances, so time management and efficient distribution of resources are crucial — choosing the right solution from the first shoot is critical.
“Time shortage and lack of human resources, as all IT teams were very busy with their quarterly goals, were the additional factors that impacted the remote work situation.”
Therefore, the journey from identifying the issue, selecting a solution, and making the delivery had to be well-organized and smooth.
Why choose NordLayer?
NordLayer provided an optimal solution to change the existing company VPN and seamlessly integrate it into the current infrastructure.
Even though the requirements for a new VPN were extended to establish remote connections of the worldwide-distributed high number of employees to organizational resources and provide secure identity management measures to the IT administrators.
“NordLayer topped the shortlisted solutions by Hostinger by being the most cost-effective and easiest-to-manage option — this is how we chose the solution.”
When selecting a cybersecurity solution, Hostinger usually uses a risk-driven approach, and of course, the solution has to fulfill requirements that are suitable for our company’s needs. Following the practice ensures the organization’s main security goals, which are confidentiality, integrity, and availability of resources and data.
5 steps to onboard a global remote team overnight: decision-making process and proceeding with NordLayer
Clear steps and objectives helped Hostinger to optimize and streamline its process of problem-solving from understanding the current solution limitations — cannot scale with a growing team, what are the desired results — provide network access controls, meet compliance and security requirements, and provide backup servers, to overviewing the plan and implementing to the whole organization.
Fast adaptation to a crisis with extended security outcome
The company achieved a remote work setup on time, so business and team productivity weren’t affected. It all happened while facing a global lockdown with time and human resources limitations.
"Today, all Hostinger employees use the solution daily as the team works in a hybrid model. We utilize ten private virtual gateways for our company needs — all this just having NordLayer and a 5-people cybersecurity team."
Most importantly, Hostinger employees can connect securely to internal resources no matter where they are. Moreover, the IT staff can focus more on other projects rather than maintaining internal VPN infrastructure — the service provider is responsible for the maintenance of the servers, so it saves a lot of valuable time.
Pro cybersecurity tips
The pandemic may start feeling like old news at some point the more time passes by, yet it was an unusual situation that had effects on businesses that reflect up to this day and will stay relevant in the future, like teaching to react to extreme situations to keep businesses running. Even though not everything can be foreseen, thus it’s beneficial to have a strategy and a sound plan in place to be well-prepared.
It’s good to start even from small things — Head of Cybersecurity of Hostinger Egidijus Navardauskas shares his tips for business security:
Have you considered how your organization would hold if stress-tested? What would be the main impediments to securing business continuity? Even expected challenges can bring to light lacking security and adoption of implemented infrastructure. Therefore, it’s always worth exploring the possibilities and performing crisis drills even on paper — be ready to ensure teams and organization perforation despite the work setup, and reach out to learn more about a remote access network solution for modern companies.