Extend protection to mobile and remote users with Zyxel Astra

Extend protection to mobile and remote users with Zyxel Astra

Zyxel has launched a new cloud-based security service allows employees to work from anywhere, safely and securely, as Thorsten Kurpjuhn, Market Development Manager Europe at Zyxel, explains.

The freedom that modern mobile devices, communications technology, and the cloud has given us to work, connect and collaborate from anywhere, is truly remarkable. It’s hard to imagine how we would have coped over this past year without these wonders of the modern world.

But new technologies also tend to present us with new and different challenges and one of the greatest that we all face – as individuals and organisations – is security. We do everything online now, from managing business processes and data, to making simple purchases and keeping on top of our finances. While having access to all of this information and all these services online gives us incredible flexibility and convenience, it also makes it more exposed to cyber criminals.

Defined boundaries

When all apps were hosted on servers and the data was held within on-premises storage devices, and all users were sitting at their workstations and physically connected to the internal network, managing access and monitoring traffic was relatively simple. The perimeter of the network was clearly and physically defined.

Today, that perimeter is almost entirely virtual. Apps and data are served from and stored in multiple resources – some may be on-premises, others will be in a public or private cloud. Some users may still be in the building – but many or most will be connected remotely.

As a result, the network has been decentralized; its boundaries are much more difficult to define and consequently, defend.

Of course, it still makes sense to deploy a unified security solution at the gateway to the central network – and VPN and point-to-point connections can provide secure links for remote workers. But with client devices connecting from many different places at different times and in different ways, the only real way to ensure total protection is to extend that virtual network perimeter out beyond every single client device.

Fighting fire with fire

The way to do this is fight fire with fire – by using a decentralized cloud-based service that can reach out to every client device that connects to the network and form a secure perimeter around that virtual structure.

This is exactly what Zyxel is introducing with Astra.

Astra is like a virtual unified security gateway that provides full firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, sandboxing, advanced access control and much more, in the cloud. It places all of this protection in front of every client device that is connected to the network, thus ensuring that all possible entry point to the entire, virtualised network are just as secure as the main gateway to the physical infrastructure.

Network administrators can also monitor and manage security settings and view status reports through Astra, putting them firmly back in control.

In control

What’s really great about Astra is that users do not get the choice of whether they want the protection it provides or not – Astra will be activated every time they connect, so there is no danger of users not following policy and inadvertently allowing cybercriminals to circumvent the network defences.

Astra is an easy and cost effective way to manage security effectively on decentralized networks. It puts all aspects of security back into the hands of the network administrator and allows them to monitor and manage users really effectively.

The Zyxel Astra service will be available this summer (2021) for the USG Flex and ATP series of security appliances. If you would like to find out more about it, please contact your local Zyxel office or trusted Zyxel partner.