With 2020 now well and truly in the rearview mirror, we thought it would be interesting to take a quick look back at all of our blogs from last year to see which ones got the most attention.
Not surprisingly, the top five blog posts in terms of page views were a mix of announcements (such as NetMotion’s new platform and roadmap blog posts), a couple of competitive comparisons, and an explanation about the differences between CASB, SDP, ZTNA and VPN.
So, without further ado, take a walk down memory lane with us as we look back at 2020’s most popular NetMotion blog posts, with a short description from each one.
What does NetMotion SDP do? At the most fundamental level, it creates a 1-1 connection between users and the resources they require for their jobs. It applies the tenets of zero trust at its core. This is the idea that by default, users are denied access until they can prove they are a legitimate user for that resource. It also embraces the concept of ‘least privilege.’ This means users only get access to the application they requested, and nothing more – preventing any kind of lateral movement – because connections are to the resource and not the whole network. Any intruders to a company’s resources are simply unable to reach the application. This is true even when they have obtained compromised credentials, as the applications are made completely dark to unapproved users. In other words, on-premise, cloud and public-facing resources are all effectively invisible.
Introducing the new NetMotion platform
The other core functionality of NetMotion SDP is that it goes far beyond just user credentials to determine access. The NetMotion client installed on the endpoint acts as a controller, gathering data on the application, time of day, the network it is connected to and dozens of other conditions. It then uses this real-time data to build a risk profile of each request, determining whether the user can access the resource based on the context of the moment. It’s an elegant, conditional way of ensuring users get what they need, while reducing the attack surface of an organization.
The compelling driver for adoption is that it allows organizations to treat all of their resources equally, even for those resources hosted in the public cloud. With 84% of organizations migrating to the cloud, NetMotion SDP offers an innovative way of providing secure remote access in an increasingly cloud – and remote – workspace.
Some of the most trusted names in VPN technology are some of the oldest and most traditional. Think Cisco AnyConnect, Pulse Secure, Microsoft Direct Access and yes, Palo Alto’s GlobalProtect.
These legacy VPNs were initially built as a way for select employees to access on-site resources from elsewhere in a secure fashion. They were designed in an era when remote access was done on a small scale in fixed environments.
Tunneling 100% of your workers’ traffic from a multitude of devices back to the home network is a very different challenge. Some VPNs are no match for the demands of today’s workers who are in most cases completing every aspect of their job outside of the office.
To assist in your journey to find the optimal remote access solution for your business, we’ve taken a deep dive into GlobalProtect to assess its merits and flaws.
Is Palo Alto’s GlobalProtect the right VPN choice for remote working?
Cisco AnyConnect is in widespread use and is frequently bundled alongside other Cisco deployments. All kinds of companies get great value from their AnyConnect investments, and it will continue to be a reliable, straightforward choice for many.
The reality today, however, is that most workplaces have changed dramatically since this technology was first designed. A growing volume of organizations are instead turning to mobile-first software solutions that offer a better experience, richer analytics and a more robust policy engine.
Let’s come right out and say it. Legacy, hardware-based VPNs have passed their prime. They were designed for an age when only a small percentage of employees worked remotely.
As the pandemic forced offices to shut down around the world, any organizations using legacy VPNs quickly discovered that they just couldn’t scale quickly enough to meet demand. The only way to effectively increase capacity was to add equipment, which in most cases is proprietary, expensive, and requires ancillary hardware such as load balancers and other redundancies.
Apart from the cost, there are a couple of real disadvantages of legacy VPNs. Firstly, they just aren’t smart. Rather than knowing when data can go directly to the cloud, they are either on or off, requiring everything to be tunneled, even when some users only need access to cloud-based applications and data. Again, this adds to the cost and complexity of the network, and puts an unnecessary strain on already taxed bandwidth. This can quickly degrade the user experience for all users.
Previous highlights in our product history are when we first announced support for mobile OS in 2014. Or the arrival of our innovative Diagnostics product a year earlier. Perhaps the biggest in more recent years was the release of MobileIQ, which is the analytics product behind our operational intelligence launch and it has since evolved into a robust experience monitoring solution. This release will be bigger than all of these by far.
So what are we launching?
Well it’s mostly a terribly-kept secret. You’ll have probably figured some of it out, if you’ve been paying enough attention to what we’ve been up to this year. Existing customers may have even had the chance to get their hands on it during the beta program we’ve been running in recent months.
A secret look at the NetMotion roadmap
Ultimately, it’s a radical update that changes the nature of what we do. It’s taken more than two years since development first began. Though we could never have anticipated the changes that would happen in the marketplace during that time. Remote working was a rapid shift taking place anyway. Even before the events of 2020 began to unfold. The COVID-19 lockdown simply accelerated these changes, and enterprises everywhere are looking at modern approaches to securing, managing and enabling remote workers. That’s what the new NetMotion platform aims to deliver – a truly giant leap forward compared with anything else that’s come before.
What will be the most popular content of 2021? We’ll all just have to stick around to find out!