Why companies should secure home-based workers

By Rizal Raoul Reyes

Posted at Mar 24 2014 08:34 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2014 04:34 AM

MANILA -- Seattle-based WatchGuard Technologies recently launched the WatchGuard Firebox T10 Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution for the small office home office (SOHO) environments.

“It’s no secret that attackers go for the weakest link when trying to get into a corporate network, and this is often a home office or small office user. Yet, many organizations continue to rely on little or no security,” said Mike Jude, senior analyst at Frost & Sullivan, in a press statement.

For the company, the introduction of the Firebox T10 is very timely as many employees are opting to work from home at least once a week. The company said the new solution allows network administrators to ensure robust protection of employees who work on sensitive critical intellectual property.

The Firebox T10 has the cloud-based Rapid Deploy capability, which instantly self-configures and begins reporting back to the administrator’s central console by simply plugging in the appliance.

“The ability to leverage the power of a UTM solution, like the Firebox T10, in remote locations and manage them from a single, central console, gives IT a powerful tool for administering and enforcing policy. And, it gives them a clear understanding of what’s happening across their network – sum total,” the company said.

According to a recent global WatchGuard survey of IT professionals, more than 82 percent allow employees to access the corporate network from a small office or home office location.

However, the company said nearly 30 percent don’t require a network security device. For those that do, only 23 percent require users to use security products similar to those used in the corporate headquarters, with features such as intrusion prevention, anti-virus, data loss prevention, application control, anti-spam and more.

WatchGuard also found that 56 percent think basic virtual private network (VPN) access provides the needed protection to SOHOs.

Scott Robertson, WatchGuard’s vice president of Asia Pacific, said there is a need for SOHOs to beef up their network because VPN access does not provide full security.

“VPN access has long been the standard for protecting communications for home-based employees,” said Robertson. “However, if your endpoint device is not protected at the same level as your enterprise network, the VPN tunnel simply provides an open window into your business. You need to protect both, and the Firebox T10 is designed to make that easy and cost effective.”