Kayla Matthews tech journalist & writer http://productivitybytes.com
Cloud computing continues to change the nature of work. As companies migrate their apps and programs to cloud servers like AWS and Azure, more employees can work away from a central office, from home or on the road.
Increased reliance on cloud technology means more flexibility for workers, who can easily commute from anywhere around the world. However, it also means new security concerns for companies and remote employees.
Before cloud computing, businesses kept in-house programs and data on-site in storage facilities, since the majority of the people who needed access to these programs would be connected to the carefully guarded local network. Cloud computing has largely made bulky and expensive on-site storage obsolete, but as companies continue to switch over to cloud storage and allow remote access, they also lose the security that traditional castle-and-moat security provided.
To secure important company information, IT professionals are turning towards cloud-based software. Zscaler is one example of a service that provides efficient and secure remote access to migrated applications, so companies can adopt cloud technology without disrupting workflow.
Eliminating Need for VPNs
Before cloud computing became popular, many companies relied on creating virtual private networks (VPNs) to allow employees to connect to the network while away from the office. While VPNs worked reliably for a while, they cannot keep up in today's fast-paced world — they're difficult to scale, often expensive and sometimes slow.
VPNs require remote users to connect to one central network, usually a corporate headquarters, to access information. For some companies, VPNs might work. For others, they could actually hinder productivity, especially if a large number of employees work remotely.
The farther away from the central network users are, the more time it takes to connect to the network. This makes accessing important apps cumbersome. Additionally, the technology to facilitate VPN connections must be stored on-site and physically scaled as the company's needs grow. This takes up space and resources. Cloud technology paired with Zscaler conquers this problem.
Because information can be stored online by a third party, cloud technology should erase the need for VPNs. As one might assume, connecting directly to the cloud is much more efficient for both user and employer, since it allows them to bypass a central connection.
Zscaler allows companies to say goodbye to VPNs without sacrificing security. Instead of going through the corporate network, Zscaler authenticates users through the cloud and gives them access to only the apps they need. This protects them and the network while allowing for faster workflow and decreased on-site technology costs.
Protecting Users From Threats
Zscaler protects users from cloud-based threats by automatically recognizing breaches and blocking them. This means a problem in the cloud won't end up affecting remote employees trying to connect. Similarly, Zscaler protects the company from threats on remotely connecting devices. A compromised device will not be able to access company information without proper authentication, so Zscaler decreases the risk of breaches.
Companies using Zscaler have direct control over how much information different users may access. Contractors, for example, will have access only to the specific programs they need to work. Unlike with a VPN, users won't have access to the entire network, which helps keep threats in check.
Zscaler also protects company data from prying eyes. Until an authorized user is authenticated through Zscaler, authorized applications are dark to the internet, despite being stored in the cloud. Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) uses a zero trust model to limit risk and minimize attacks.
Making Remote Work Better
By eliminating the need for VPNs and protecting important data from threats, Zscaler allows companies to benefit from cloud technology without the risk. By connecting users to the cloud directly from one of Zscaler's 100 data centers around the globe, employees can work faster and more productively.