Seamless remote office experience

Seamless remote office experience

Bernie Dodwell
Bernie Dodwell

Bernie Dodwell, EMEA Channel Director, Sipera Systems examines the elements comprising a great remote working set up.

Remote employees require comprehensive access to web, Windows and desktop applications, unified communications, instant messaging, voice, video and other services typically available on employees’ office desk-phones and desktops.

Challenges

A lack of personal interaction with co-workers and limited access to business communications and applications can make working productively more difficult for employees. Other challenges include:

• Delivering a comprehensive office experience with all its business applications and communications. • Securing business applications, communications assets, and data when accessed from outside traditional enterprise boundaries across unsecured networks.

• Enabling real-time communications for remote workers that is free of jitter that can cause inaudible voice or incomprehensible video and reduce employee efficiency.

 

• Supporting remote workers cost-effectively and efficiently, when heavy application clients and enterprise networking and VPN equipment can become expensive and unmanageable.

• Ensuring that the solution is easy to deploy/install by the user who, generally, would be non-IT literate and unlikely to utilise the solution if, for instance, they have to re-configure their home router.

 

Remote Office Security

From a security perspective, enterprises are looking for solutions to provide the following:

Policies and access control: Application-layer access control policies, not just the on-and-off access of standard VPNs. IT personnel can control who can access which application and when, or who can communicate with whom and access which communication services.

Single sign-on and two-factor authentication: Single sign-on for both application and communication access. Use of a common portal to enable their home VoIP/UC desk phone, or, alternatively, sign onto their phones using the same two-factor authentication token that they use for application access.

Logging and monitoring: Logging and monitoring of application usage for individual users and fork media streams for recording voice and video communications, facilitating compliance with mandates and simplifying security audits.

Privacy: Strong transport layer security (SSL/TLS) encryption of applications and secure real time protocol (SRTP) for real-time communication media, with options to apply 128-bit or higher encryption e.g. AES.

Threat protection: Deep, application-aware threat protection that looks for attack signatures, HTTP-based virus attacks (e.g., Nimda and Code Red variants), and such other exploits as long URL attacks and Common Gateway Interface (CGI) open door attacks.

To address all these concerns and to encourage the adoption of remote working, Sipera and Citrix have teamed up to provide a comprehensive and seamless office experience for mobile workers. This combination allows enterprises to realise the benefits of teleworking while IT groups maintain the necessary security policies and controls required by corporate rules and compliance mandates.

“Companies are finding that the new source of competitive advantage is enterprise responsiveness and flexibility,” says Adam Boone, Vice President of Marketing & Product Management for Sipera Systems. “A secure and viable teleworker scheme optimizes how employees interact with clients, partners, other employees and the supply chain, maximizing enterprise responsiveness to business needs and changing market conditions.”

 

Real, Real-Time

For a real-time experience, controlling latency is key. In heavy throughput or attack conditions this is especially important and solutions must be engineered-based on multi-core appliances architected for scaleability and reduced latency. Sipera performs deep packet inspection and encryption/decryption of all media deterministically, in less than 50 microseconds in varied conditions. NetScaler has demonstrated that application latency can be kept under control even in heavy load conditions.

“Citrix recognizes that as companies address problems associated with business continuity, disaster and pandemic planning, the requirement to solve the technical and financial challenges becomes paramount” says Jason Poole, EMEA Sales Development Manager for Citrix. “We enable low cost and light-touch to improve user experience”.

 

Reaping the rewards

Teleworking has become both a necessity for business continuity planning as well as an essential strategy for hiring and retaining the best talent from a global pool. But there are definite challenges to a successful teleworking programme – from creating a complete office experience to ensuring that remote access can be managed by IT to complying with business policies and regulatory mandates without compromising security.