Effective and secure team collaboration is crucial for enabling all ways of working. Yet, for some organizations, efficiently incorporating remote workforce access controls into a company’s cybersecurity strategy might come as a complex and challenging task.
Network and resource access management is a must to ensure smooth business operations and continuity. But is there an easy way to achieve it? User access to the company network, internal cloud or on-premise resources, and SaaS applications can be customized to secure digital assets and enable teams effortlessly. Let’s see how.
Challenges of team enablement and secure collaboration
Teams can be local or scattered across the globe. Some are fully remote or hybrid. There’re companies that prefer full-time employment, while others lean on freelancers. And every way of working is great as long as it proves effective.
The challenge comes from balancing various complexities: making on-site and remote workers team up, ensuring productivity, and maintaining the company’s security simultaneously.
Businesses first depend on a single unit of an employee. Users must always be ready to perform their tasks defined by their roles and responsibilities. However, office space today is not as restricted — offsite locations often replace traditional company headquarters as long as workers can access the network and deliver assignments.
Despite their presence and technological readiness, employee enablement is the organization’s priority. Therefore, it’s essential to have relevant tools and solutions in place to support and connect the user to the company network and access internal resources and applications.
Virtual team collaboration
Teams must collaborate to perform and achieve company goals efficiently. But is it also possible to ensure the productivity of a team scattered across different continents and employee units sitting on the same floor so the results don’t suffer?
Virtual environments should enable file sharing, co-working, and communication and sustain the here-and-now feeling of presence. Thus, connectivity and tools should support teams’ performance flow.
A shifting form of a workplace, accommodating various setups, becomes crucial. From people working remotely from home and public places to employees travelling to client locations or going on a workation, every unique arrangement requires flexibility and adaptation from the organization's technological capabilities.
However, companies often operate on legacy infrastructure. Hardware-based solutions take time and expenses to upgrade quickly and for a reasonable investment. Thus, an infrastructure transformation strategy should focus on covering the user connectivity demand instead of disrupting business operations.
Establishing security controls
Enabling teams to connect and collaborate within a company network is a starting point. Now network administrators must ensure that only authorized individuals can access internal information and applications to prevent the risk of data leaks and breaches.
Thus, security managers must secure several levels of network and data entry points like identity authentication, role-based access rights, and network segmentation for streamlined connectivity and minimized cyber attack surface.
Creating a functioning digital ecosystem
The company network should act as a whole. Tools and solutions shouldn’t contradict and compromise each other, creating a productive work environment for remote, hybrid, and on-site workforces.
Compatibility and user experience play a key role in implementing and delivering a sustainable and effective security approach to the organization's safety and performance.
What is network and resource access management?
Network and resources access management is a process of creating and customizing secure and controlled work environments for remote, hybrid, and on-site teams.
First, company IT administrators determine security controls on who can enter the company network. Once users are identified and verified, administrators define what cloud and on-site resources and SaaS applications users can access based on their roles and responsibilities.
Network access management
When connecting to the network outside the company office, there is a factor of the unknown. Therefore, administrators must employ identity authentication tools and solutions to ensure that only approved personnel can access resources within the organization's network.
To get verified via Multi-factor authentication (MFA), biometric authentication users have to meet certain criteria to prove they are legitimate account holders.
Another layer of security is establishing safety barriers for user endpoints. Before being granted access to the organization's network, devices must comply with the internal security policies’ checklist. This includes being up-to-date and having security applications.
Resources access management
Users who passed through the primary filtering are now in the company network. Employees can swarm around digital resources freely if administrators don’t predefine access rights. Thus, resource access management is the next crucial step in preventing unnecessary exposure to non-relevant parties.
Network administrators can define a set of rules that apply to the entire organization or specific teams. This team-based segmentation helps ensure secure resource access. For instance, role-based access for a design or developers team provides practical protection of the cloud applications and streamlines IT managers’ tasks in enabling teams to work effectively.
The distribution reach of the company’s data and applications also limits the attack surface if a malicious actor infiltrates the network. Moreover, team consolidation under defined roles allows easier user management, enabling smooth onboarding or offboarding of an entire unit as required.
Design of NordLayer’s network & resource access management
One of the leading uses of NordLayer solution is establishing encrypted and authorized user connections to the company network.
Based on the Zero Trust model, creating flexible yet controlled environments allows team collaboration and protects sensitive information.
Network and resource access management with NordLayer unlocks productivity for organizations as a frictionless and seamless connection approach for authorized users. This way, employees can access the company’s virtual gateways, ensuring speedy and uninterrupted workflow and business operations.
By eliminating the uncertainties associated with connecting from unprotected networks, teams can securely connect from various locations, whether it’s a co-working office on the other side of a city, a home in another country, or a hotel on another continent.
Using NordLayer on an organizational level creates a secure online environment for a remote workforce, no different from on-site work. Activity and device monitoring tools allow network administrators to reduce the need for direct interaction with employees for troubleshooting or enforcing auto-updates.
NordLayer Control Panel allows centralized enforcement of company security policies within the organization and enables admins to allocate access rights easily. Compatibility with market-leading user provisioning providers allows companies to utilize SCIM to automate their onboarding and offboarding processes.
Security by design is based on a layered security model. This lets administrators set and regulate internal policies on employee authentication factors, filtering out malicious content and monitoring compliance with set rules to secure an organization's network comprehensively. And it’s all achievable within minutes.
How does network & resource access management work?
Let’s move from theoretical levels to practical ones. We are proud to showcase some resources and access management examples of how organizations enhanced their cybersecurity strategies using NordLayer's remote network access solution.
Board of Innovation
A global innovation company, Board of Innovation, chose NordLayer for better security management to protect its teams and client data.
A remote-first organization with approximately 100 employees from over 60 locations closely co-operates with businesses worldwide to imagine future-driving products and services.
An IT manager's objective is to enable a widely distributed team as if they there working under one roof and simultaneously protect the data of high-profile clients.
Board of Innovation made NordLayer part of their internal security policies, so every user, be it a full-time employee or a freelancer, must connect to a VPN using a 2FA solution to enter the company network. Defining access levels to internal data helps distinguish teams and users from unauthorized requests.
NordLayer allowed the admin to supervise the whole process of users following company policies when connecting to virtual gateways from untrusted networks, all without interrupting their performance.
Invisible Technologies Inc.
A work-sharing software provider with thousands of employees is about combining automation and AI bot capabilities with human workforce collaboration.
Present in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa, this fast-scaling company looked out for a robust, effective, and intuitive-to-use solution to protect and enable its employees.
Given the company's scale and distribution, having a small team to supervise the security processes and ensure productivity was a challenge. NordLayer's solution provided sufficient network and resource access segmentation by teams to facilitate business operations.
For Invisible Technologies Inc., network segmentation by teams was mandatory to distinguish access to different projects and systems that the organization shared with third parties.
Integration of user authentication tools, splitting into dedicated teams, and allowlisting an assigned Fixed IP was fully managed by NordLayer’s Control Panel administrator.
This comprehensive solution allows managing access to the network and internal resources, adapting policies as required, and monitoring user IP connectivity which helps ensure the quality of security.
Solutions for safe collaboration and access controls
Balancing user cooperation with internal security controls is a tiring task, even for knowledgeable IT professionals. Customizing and supervising the entire organization’s network requires constant alertness. Thus, implementing solutions that support this process is beneficial for time and risk management.
Compatible and intuitive solutions such as NordLayer upgrade the business network security architecture, despite existing legacy infrastructure it is or other service providers your company is already using. Being a remote loud-native network access solution, NordLayer integrates with the most popular operating systems and major service providers and identity and access management solutions.
Control network access for teams of any size and the number of devices that enter the company network. A solution based on Security Service Edge supports virtual office environments for remote, hybrid, and on-site teams as if they were working altogether, keeping information transactions encrypted and company digital assets secured.
Features to deliver network and resources access management
NordLayer adapts to the company's needs providing as much security as needed to support the highest levels of security and maintaining sustainable workloads on the company infrastructure to upkeep employees’ performance.
The features to consider for network and resources access management enablement out of a variety of features for remote network access offered by NordLayer include:
Smart Remote Access
2FA, Biometrics & SSO
FWaaS (coming soon)
Implement a ZTNA-focused cybersecurity model and create private virtual gateways, segment networks, and role-based team access to achieve company protection from advanced and human error-based cyber threats.
Best practices of network & resources access management implementation
Securing a company network requires continuous testing, supervision, and improvement to adapt to changing company needs.
Network and resources access management enable the implementation of different level and complexity controls to secure the organization network from the open internet.
First-step identity authentication and device posture check are the starting point in the user journey within the company network. Once confirmed and permitted to enter, users can access resources based on their assigned teams and roles.
Passing through access controls and authentication protocols mitigates malicious actors and accidental errors. However, continuous monitoring is as vital as following security policies to secure healthy network protection.
Checking if organization members connect correctly using VPN, limiting non-work related online content from entering the network, and auditing security processes can help maintain secure environments for business continuity.
How can NordLayer help enable secure team collaboration in every way of working?
Every modern company, regardless of its setup (remote or office-based), infrastructure (legacy or cloud-based), local or global, and small or large enterprise, has to prioritize business security to protect its teams, business assets, and sensitive data.
To avoid the complexities of implementing an effective and lean cybersecurity strategy, NordLayer introduces a remote network access security solution based on Zero Trust principles. This solution addresses the most prominent challenges of protecting digital business presence.
Using NordLayer, network administrators can control, secure, and customize access to company resources and applications for employees of any kind. Ensure only authorized company users enter the network via an encrypted connection and enable seamless team collaboration.
By collaborating in managed and supervised environments, using remote devices and unprotected networks, the workforce can perform at its highest capacity. Reach out to the NordLayer team to explore your options for securely enabling your way of working.