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[INFOGRAPHIC] Is Your Environment Running at Full Potential?

Is Your Environment Running At Full Potential?

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[INFOGRAPHIC] 5 Steps to Accelerate EUC Adoption

5 Steps to Accelerate EUC Adoption

Accelerating EUC Adoption
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[INFOGRAPHIC] Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 7

10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 7

10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 7
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Things to Consider When Building The New Workspace Using Virtual Desktops

Things to Consider When Building "The New" Workplace Using Virtual Desktops

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Watch for Hidden Cost

The most common underestimated costs are WAN and backend storage. When introducing VDI, additional load will be placed on the network. VDI can heavily tax a WAN link, depending on number of users and type of applications that users are running.

Sizing and capacity planning are critical factors when creating a VDI environment. Engage with us to help you with with sizing your VDI environment. 

Software Licensing Terms

Microsoft licensing is one key area that must be evaluated for VDI deployment, they have issued special licensing guidelines, the cost of the VDA license is included under your agreement. 

Microsoft licensing is complex even without virtualization, engage solutions providers and have them assist you. Licensing may well be the most troublesome aspect of your VDI project but it is not rocket science with someone who have done it before guide you along.

Is Data Security A Key Concern?

Travelex paid hackers $6million ransom for its stolen 5Gbs customer personal data.

The immediate answer is “YES”, it is important to add another layer of protection for your data to ensure it will never leaves the data center, even with user scattered around the globe, that makes VDI worth it all by itself. 

VDI not only can improve the security of data, corporate applications also can be siloed by leveraging multiple operating system instances or application virtualization. VDI in the data center manged by IT can be more reliably updated with antivirus signature files, patches and updates.

Subsription Based Model

Subscription-based models of Hyper-Converged infrastructure (HCI). Subscription-based model allows rapid deployment and configuration of the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) layer. 

Download Full VDI Whitepaper Now


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Building The New Workplace

Building The New Workplace

Table of Contents

Do you have this problems?!

Before you could continue reading this article, please ask yourself these questions;

  • How do you empower your workforce now that they are all sitting at home?
  • How do you minimize business disrupton
  • How do you enable your workforce to access corporate resource remotely?
  • How do you ensure the safety of your corporate data with your workforce 99% at home?

If these are the questions you or your organization is asking, the definition of workplace in the “The New Normal” has become a definition that everyone is trying to figure out what this exactly encompass.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDIs)

Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDIs): get “PCs” into the hands of your employees as if they are in office, get your remote workforce online in days not months, keep corporate data secured even though data is “exposed” into each of your workforce’s homes. If this resonates with your organization including this short list below:

  • Centralized management: to have a single pane of glass on all the devices in your organization

  • Quicker deployment of desktops: to be able to deploy desktops to users who are not in the office

  • Improved desktop security: to prevent data from being copied or leaked out

  • Improved business continuity and disaster recovery: that workers can still function and be productive from home

  • Migrate, upgrade, and patch the OS and applications with less downtime: especially when you do not get to see your users or the laptops/desktops in front of you

If you have all the checkboxes with WHY, then you are ready for HOW and WHAT needs to be considered before you jump on the bandwagon.

Employees to request to work from home

There are 5 groups of users which you will need to take care of before, during and after COVID-19.

  1. Current remote workers. They used to work remotely thus will require less attention as they would have been given the tools they required.
  2. Users who never work from home, but have corporate issued laptops. they probably have the right apps installed and meet the security requirements.
  3. Users who have never work from home (WFH) before, this is the “new” group which you have to decide whether to get them a corporate laptop, or use their own personal laptops. 
  4. Users whose job cannot be done from home. For example, finance, book-keepers, sales operations etc.
  5. Users who will still come into office or store front. Less for IT/MIS to worry as they are traditionally not users of any IT equipment. 

Now you can start considering the technologies that are available to meet the requirements of these personas. Now your ability to manage and troubleshoot user profiles will be a critical element to a good WFH strategy.

Does your organization have an existing virtual application or virtual desktop infrastructure

YES. If your organization has a VDI infrastructure, do you have sufficient licenses to cater additional 50-80% of your workforce having to WFH.

NO. But you can consider leveraging cloud elasticity and cloud burst across multi-cloud options.

User Experience and Expectations

The end user experience needs to be proactively managed and monitored to make sure the projected benefits of VDI result in more productive employees.

For the projects we have implemented, login times to be ½ a minute at a maximum in VDI environments, with 15-20 seconds considered average, and 5 seconds would be considered the holy grail of VDI.

BONUS

Considering VDI? 

A good VDI readiness assessment will crawl your network in advance of your VDI project and deliver a report on where your problem areas are before you start. Fill out the form below and we will send you the assessment right away!

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Why Business Continuity Plans Must Start With Security

Why Business Continuity Plans Must Start With Security

Table of Contents

Tony Jarvis

Tony Jarvis,

Cybersecurity CTO &
Executive Advisor, APJ

Remote Access, a security nightmare!

Consider how many of us rushed to prepare for BCP to stop the spread of COVID-19, this threat has impacted our work differently than what most business continuity plans are prepared to handle.

With most of us working from home at the moment, there are certainly a number of challenges involved with keeping business operations running. Unfortunately, a growing number of cybercriminals are seeking to leverage the current situation for their own gain.

Since January, we have seen approximately 51,000 websites registered using words relating to ‘coronavirus’. 31,000 of these were registered in the last two weeks alone. What is concerning is that security researchers have identified 13,000 of these as being malicious. The simple act of visiting one of these sites could leave a laptop or smartphone vulnerable to attack.

Security researches have identified approximately 13,000 malicious websites registered using words relating to coronavirus.

Increasing number in ransomware

Ransomware is also on the increase. If such attacks are successful, the victim finds that their files have been encrypted, and is asked to pay a ransom in order to get that access back. One cybersecurity business has observed a 4,000% increase in ransomware emails within their clients, and a 53% increase in phishing emails.

More than anything else, we are seeing that criminals are using COVID-19 as a lure. They are preying on individuals by pretending to be from legitimate entities who might approach them at this time, or otherwise convincing users to click on things that they shouldn’t be.

Mobile devices are part of the problem. Researchers at Check Point Software Technologies have found 16 different malicious Android apps, all masquerading as legitimate Coronavirus apps. Should users download these apps, they could have their banking logins and passwords stolen, receive intrusive ads, or have automated calls made to premium numbers that get charged to the victim’s phone bill.

The larger lesson we need to learn from this pandemic, is that our BCP needs to be agile enough to handle the new norm.

Security challenge for remote work

It’s easy to understand why such an increase in attacks is being observed. For many organisations and individuals, this is new territory. Most organisations do a pretty good job of protecting the devices inside their premises, but today we have majority of the workforce working remotely. This presents different challenges that need to be addressed.

For example, most of those users working from home today are connecting directly to the Internet when they are surfing the web. Those searches are not being routed through the corporate gateways where security screening would usually take place. The result is that without proper protections on those endpoints, they are left vulnerable to attacks.

The larger lesson we need to learn from this pandemic, is that our BCP needs to be agile enough to handle the new norm.

Luckily, protections are available. Traditional antivirus solutions are not effective against today’s sophisticated threats. What is needed is a comprehensive set of protections against malicious websites, phishing attacks, ransomware, and advanced malware.

SandBlast Agent is a complete endpoint security solution offering a fleet of advanced endpoint threat prevention capabilities so you can safely navigate today’s threat landscape. The 2020 NSS Labs Advanced Endpoint Protection Test awarded it an ‘AA’ rating for blocking 100% of threats across multiple categories

For mobile devices, SandBlast Mobile offers enterprise mobile security that protects against threats to the OS, apps, and network. Leveraging Check Point’s best-of-breed threat prevention technology, SandBlast Mobile offers the highest threat catch rate in the industry without impacting device performance or user experience.

SandBlast Mobile was awarded an “AA” rating for blocking 100% of threats across multiple categories.

How do you protect organizations against unknown malware, zero-day threats and targeted attacks, and prevents infections from undiscovered exploits? Or rather, how do you protect against your own user’s behavior?

Download 2020 NSS Labs Check Point End Point Protection Report

What you will get in the report:

  • Exploit protection rating
  • Ability to detect false positives
  • Resistance to threats using evasion techniques
  • Effectiveness against malware
  • Drive-by exploits from web browsing
  • Protection against social exploits


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Work Style Innovation – Quick Overview

Work Style Innovation - Quick View

While Covid-19 has pushed several knowledge-based job structures to accept workstyle innovation, an urgent challenge offers other small companies a chance to reconsider their culture in a much broader way. You have the ability to re-imagine the equilibrium between teamwork, productivity and collaboration and participate in a modern era of personal independence.

For an organization to continue to remain competitive, it is crucial that dynamic employees, of varying personalities and experiences, show their full potential, make reforms focused on their awareness of issues and not adapted from others, and strive to face challenges. These companies must improve the atmosphere and encourage the growth of human resources so that all employees can think and behave differently and take the initiative in creating progress.

As technological advancements have a significant impact on our daily life, the way we operate also needs to evolve now. Our workspace and work style is changing, thanks in part to enhanced teamwork, improved connectivity and the opportunity to access details from almost anywhere. The concept of workstyle innovation offers you a significant boost in your performance, makes you more productive, and you receive a plan for digitally handling traditional work processes. It’s time for people to start and enhance the culture of conducting their business and collaborating with their employees.

The importance of Workstyle Innovation 

It is essential to change the perception of each employee about his / her job and behaviours to break away from job practices that classify over time as a premise. The companies need to develop working conditions that promote flexible jobs at any moment, anywhere, to free up more flexibility for staff to spend with their family or pursue their learning, and to enhance efficiency through a better work-life balance.

The following are the key points of a workstyle innovation.

1. Digital Workspace 
Teleworking is now the business strategy of choice for several businesses who want to sustain their activities in the presence of the new coronavirus. The digital workplace is the core of work style innovation. Companies are rapidly building digital workspace to create a workforce that covers both physical and virtual domains productively. A fully digital workplace puts together software, information, knowledge and tools, which are customized to the position, place and activities of each specific employee.
 
While a digital workplace keeps workers more efficient, it also makes the company more flexible so that they can select the most suitable service and technologies. The digital workplace improves the functions, increases the flexibility, and optimizes the expenses of the company. The companies can digitalize business processes and everything that moves.
 
2. Tele-Working
A report from Getapp has identified that the remote working has been increased up to 400% in the last decade. The future of employment is gradually influenced by working remotely, which is quickly taking hold around the world due to the positive output it provides to businesses.  COVID-19 has also forced the companies and organizations to switch to remote working. Remote work provides an opportunity for businesses to adapt their way of operating sustainably and to gain the rewards over the medium and long term. Think of fewer working space, less traveling, less business visits, shorter breaks and better workplace focus.

 

3. Business Continuity
Business Continuity is the strategic planning and preparation conducted to ensure that the organization retains the capacity to perform its essential corporate activities during critical scenarios or natural disasters. It includes a formulaic sequence of risk management activities that tackle disasters.
 
The following are such disaster scenarios:
• Technological outages
• Supply chain disruptions
• Weather incidents, like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes
• Breaches and cybersecurity events
• On-premise accidents
 
A travelers study has also indicated that there is no business continuity plan in 48% of the small companies. Still, more than 90% of these companies stated that they were ready and prepared.  During the COVID-19, International businesses need to be rational and strategic in their decision-making to maintain business continuity and develop company sustainability. They have to prioritize the health and constant participation of employees and reshape the business continuity strategy.
 
4. Human Resources
Human resource management plays a vital role in work style innovation for both small and large companies. This department undertakes more activities than just managing the open enrolment process once a year or managing the budget on a bi-weekly basis. Instead, HR establishes the strategies of a company and handles the worker-centred practices of the enterprise. It can add a significant contribution to the general management of the organization and the accomplishment of its targets and goals.  Human Resource management has to supervise the flexible work conditions and awareness-raising communications for employees during COVID-19, and enouraging the culture change and improvisation of instilling Workstyle Innovation. 
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Why identity management in the digital workspace is essential for organisations?

Why identity management in the digital workspace is essential for organisations?

Workplace mobility allows employees to connect to almost any network wherever they are to work. While this gives them the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they want, it sometimes can create another problem for companies. IT departments are finding it harder to keep track of who accesses company data using third party devices or sources. Not only does this create a security vulnerability for organisations, but it also means companies would need to spend more time to check who is accessing them and if these devices pose a threat to the organisation.

At the same time, it is estimated that there will be around 75.4 billion IoT devices by the year 2025. From personal mobile devices to smart printers in offices, the growth of IoT devices, especially in the workplace, will not only change the way we work but the way we view cybersecurity as a whole. With employees preferring to use their own devices for work these days, organisations are now finding it harder to track the amount of data that’s being transferred by these devices.

This absence of control and visibility over IoT devices and access have led to breaches in organisations before. A recent example would be the data breach suffered by Malindo Airlines in 2019. According to the airline company, two former employees of an e-commerce services provider in India had improperly accessed and stole the personal data of the airlines’ customers. A huge number of accounts were exposed, leading to the airline requesting customers to reset their account passwords.

By the time the airline realised about the breach, it was too late. Information such as passport details, home addresses and phone numbers were leaked onto data exchange forums on the dark web.

Malindo Airlines was not the only airline to suffer such a breach though. In 2018, the personal data of 9.4 million passengers from Cathay Pacific Airways and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines were leaked as well. The airline had said the breach was caused by unauthorised access to some of the passenger data is managed. Compromised data included passenger details such as nationalities, emails, passport and identity card numbers.

Now, if the airlines had visibility over who was accessing their data at that point of time, the breaches may have been able to be contained and the damage would not be as huge as this. They would have been alerted about the unauthorised access to their data and could have taken prompt actions to stop it.

At the same time, companies also need to be able to remotely grant and deny access to employees leaving or joining the organisation. In the Malindo Airlines case, the airlines should have immediately removed the access of the former employees of that particular company the moment they were no longer needed.

It’s not just about controlling access. Employees using their own devices for work may also compromise companies. Newer technologies bring in newer and more advanced devices. But not many of these devices, especially personal ones, are patched with cybersecurity protection when they are used for work. The digital workspace is fast becoming the norm for the modern workspace which is why organisations need to ensure their employees are accessing their work with secured devices.

This is where VMware’s Workspace ONE comes in. VMware Workspace ONE is a management platform which allows IT administrators to have control over access for end-users’ mobile devices as well as cloud-hosted virtual desktops. This also includes applications from the cloud or from an on-premises deployment. Meaning, breaches like the one experienced by Malindo Airlines can be avoided as IT administrators can remotely lockout users that no longer need access to the company.

Apart from that, more employees today prefer working out of the office due to the nature of their job. Companies give them this flexibility as long they produce results. Recently though, circumstances are making employees having no choice but to work from home.

The recent Coronavirus outbreak has indeed caused some problems to the workforce as employees find themselves being confined and quarantined to their homes. Those that are sick are being taken cared of, but for the rest, they’re just eager to get back to work, but circumstances don’t allow it. So, they have no choice but to use their own devices and work from home.

This is where the security features of Workspace ONE makes it the ideal platform to monitor employee devices. Having employees work from home is one thing, but companies need to ensure the devices they use for their work are well secured and protected. Often times, employees would use their personal devices when working from home. Personal devices may not have the necessary security protection needed when accessing sensitive work documents. Also, the network they are working on at home may not be as secured as an office network.

VMware Workspace ONE is the answer to what organisations need to ensure their employees have a secure digital workspace. The added visibility over the usage and access for IoT devices can help organisations reduce security threats. IT administrators are able to deliver applications and manage them fast, securely and cost-efficiently. To find out more about how your organisation can have control and visibility over your employee’s mobile devices through VMware Workspace ONE, click here.  

*DISCLAIMER: This article was supported by Net One Asia. Net One Asia specialises in helping enterprises adopt remote-work culture, enabling staff to stay productive with a digital workspace environment.

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Combating the Onslaught of Data Breaches: Why Security Policies In Your Digital Workspace Is Essential

Combating the Onslaught of Data Breaches: Why Security Policies In Your Digital Workspace Is Essential

Data is an asset which holds tremendous value to an organisation. Consequently, just like other valuable assets, it needs to be suitably protected. Otherwise, the impact of a security incident may result in downtime or business disruption, financial losses, as well as other intangible damages to an organisation’s brand name and reputation.

Data-related security incidents may occur to both individuals (such as the iCloud leaks of compromising celebrity photos) and organisations alike (like the Malindo Air customer data leak). For those two cases, however, investigations have shown that they were not caused by security vulnerabilities within Apple’s iCloud infrastructure, Malindo’s data infrastructure or that of its cloud provider, AWS.

Organisations spend millions on securing and protecting their data, so why are such security incidents still occurring regularly? According to investigations, the iCloud leaks were a direct result of weak passwords and password reuse, while Malindo Air became a victim of malicious insider threats, in the form of two former employees.

Does your organisation have the necessary security policies to protect your data? Today’s workspaces allow employees to use multiple devices, from company-issued notebooks and BYOD, such as phones or other devices.

Do you need to enforce the necessary “complexity” of passwords for your users? How do you enforce and audit such policies? More importantly, how many different passwords for different applications do each employee need to remember?

Password fatigue is a real issue. Having to remember an excessive number of passwords will lead to other possible issues, such as employees sticking their “list of passwords” in plain sight, like their monitors, for instance, for convenience.

Meanwhile, the Malindo Air incident highlighted that a breach is possible even when security policies are seemingly in place. Why did former employees still have access to critical information? Why was access not revoked upon termination?

In many organisations, different employees use a number of different applications. During onboarding, different PICs in different departments may create accounts and passwords for them to access those applications. But when they leave the company, how do you ensure that their access to all the sensitive applications and data are also terminated?

Hence, in the new digital workspace era, protecting your valuable assets begins with a well-defined, comprehensive security policy. Furthermore, you need to establish the necessary procedures, with regular audits, to ensure compliance. More regulatory authorities are now increasing their compliance requirements, or at the very least, providing guidelines for information security management. Many SMEs may not be directly required to comply, but do remember that some of your customers, like banks or public companies, may require your compliance in order for you to continue doing business with them.

The majority, if not all, of large enterprises or MNCs have their security policies in place. The task, however, may be more challenging for SMEs that have access to fewer resources, tools, talent and the necessary consultancy services.

Fortunately, in an ever-connected world, you may now find the necessary security and privacy policy templates or framework, such as the ones devised by NIST, that could guide your organisation in the effort to reduce cybersecurity risks and manage cyber supply chain as well as insider risks.

In terms of tools, VMware Workspace ONE may be the answer to what organisations need to ensure their employees have a secure digital workspace. The simple and secure digital workspace platform from VMware offers added visibility over the usage and access for IoT devices, which can help organisations significantly reduce security threats. In addition, IT administrators are able to deliver applications and manage them quickly, securely and cost-effectively.


VMware Workspace ONE is offered via a SaaS subscription model (for a minimum of 25 users) for less than US$4 per device per month (Standard Edition), to provide businesses with the basic device and application management tool that they need in today’s era of rising data security challenges and complexities. The advantage of using such a cloud-based solution is that it eliminates the need for large and costly IT infrastructure investments.

More advanced versions, such as the VMware Workspace ONE Enterprise Edition, can provide additional levels of security and features, such as email and content management, or even application delivery and virtual desktop infrastructure.

To find out more about how your organisation can have better control and visibility over your employees’ endpoints and mobile devices with VMware Workspace ONE, click here.

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Business Continuity Procedure for 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Business Continuity Procedure for 2019 Novel Coronavirus

On 7th February 2020, Singapore upgraded its health alert status to orange, the second-highest level on its DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition). The guidelines included precautions for large-scale events, regular health checks and enhance business continuity capability at workplaces. 

Source: Guide on Business Continuity Planning by Enterprise Singapore – Annex 5.

To minimize transmission risks, employees who had contact with infected victims or traveled to affected countries within the last 14 days are advised to self-quarantine or take leave of absence as precautions.

To ensure business continuity, employers are allowing employees to have flexible work arrangements which include working off-site or from home, to minimize business disruption. Employers are also recommended to deploy employees into teams, with no physical contacts between the teams, to ensure not all employees are exposed to the same risk. For example, one team works from home while the other at the office.

But do organisations have the necessary IT capabilities to enable workplace mobility? At Net One Asia, we offer quick deployment of solution and necessary Managed Services to enable your organisation to jump start a Business Continuity Plan. This includes ensuring you have the following:

  1. What are the necessary Applications required by employees to work, be it on-premise or on the Cloud?
  2. Do your employees work with office issued notebooks? If they do, are the necessary applications installed in the devices? If they don’t, do your employees have personal computers or devices which can be used for work? Necessary applications must be deployed to Employees’ owned devices.
  3. Employees will need a VPN connection to access to the on-premise Applications. Do you have any VPN connection?

The other option for you if to subscribe to VMware Workspace ONE. The SaaS or Net One Asia Managed Services includes: –

  1. Identification of User Group to deploy necessary users’ policies
  2. Identification of Device Management to deploy necessary policies to office issued machines or BYOD (3rd devices)
  3. Identification of Applications to deploy Application Catalogues to employees. (Note that Applications must be supported by Win10)
  4. Provision of Application VPN tunnels to office premises for secured connections.
  5. Provision of Emails to Win10 or other mobile devices, such as Android or IOS.
  6. Other options – to consider Application delivery and/or VDIs.

With Net One Asia Workspace-as-a-Service,  you may introduce simple business continuity planning to enable flexible work arrangement for your employees and be ready for any unforeseeable events. Business continuity planning must always be considered as part of your overall business plan. Also, do note that VMware Workspace ONE is subscription base at a minimum of 25 users, supporting cloud-based to minimize large IT Infrastructure.

*DISCLAIMER: This article was supported by Net One Asia. Net One Asia specialises in helping enterprises adopt remote-work culture, enabling staff to stay productive with a digital workspace environment.

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