With the dramatic shift to remote work worldwide, IT admins are searching for the ideal infrastructure to support remote organizations.
This infrastructure needs to ensure not only that end users can stay productive wherever they’re working but also that they do so in a secure fashion. IT admins should focus on three areas when thinking about the right IT management approach.
Three Considerations for IT Infrastructure
1. Easy, Secure Connections for End Users
Working remotely requires a new workflow for both admins and users. How can admins make this workflow easier? Is it possible for a user to access all their IT resources without being forced to VPN into an on-prem domain? Can a user employ a single identity across a wide range of IT resources?
2. Manage User Access & Systems
How can admins easily and quickly manage user access to a wide range of IT resources from one central, web-based console? Further, how can admins have full control over a user’s system to ensure that it’s configured properly and performing as expected?
3. Improve Security
With users away from the office and away from IT’s influence within the office, how can admins help ensure users stay secure and keep company assets confidential? How can they ensure users don’t get phished, their machines aren’t compromised, and data stays secure?
Understanding these areas of emphasis, admins can start to build out their ideal infrastructure for remote organizations. Of course, admins can’t do this in a vacuum. Most organizations already have existing IT management tools, but those have often assumed a different or physical office environment. So, the question becomes: How do you think about shifting to the next generation of IT solutions?
Shifting to IT Infrastructure for Remote Work
Ideally, new, cloud-based tools will allow for a smooth transition from on-prem solutions to those that handle remote users well. Admins should seek to identify a comprehensive Active Directory® identity bridge or full-suite cloud directory in order to be more agile and support users with less required networking. These are capabilities to keep in mind in selecting such a service and addressing the considerations outlined above:
1. Identity Management
Connecting users to their IT resources gets more challenging when users are remote. Traditionally, users would join the Windows® domain and have access to on-prem resources. Now, organizations use macOS® and Linux® platforms in addition to Windows, and users need to access a wider range of solutions, including on-prem and SaaS applications, cloud and on-prem servers, VPN and WiFi networks, and physical and virtual file servers.
In the past, users needed to use VPN connections and a variety of credentials to patch together access to all their resources when they were out of the office or working in the field. New cloud-based IT infrastructure can host an authoritative user store, federate identities everywhere they’re needed, and ensure seamless access for users regardless where they’re based without a VPN required. That ensures easier access and faster time-to-work for workforces that suddenly need to be remote.
2. Systems Management
With a user’s system as the conduit to highly valuable applications and data, remote management solutions should accommodate Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, rather than just one subset, for complete fleet coverage.
Ideally, admins can provision user access to their machines regardless of operating system, as well as their other IT resources. Admins can ensure visibility into who is accessing what and return telemetry about key system metrics like uptime, storage, and patch status. With this data, they can confirm up-to-date security configurations and troubleshoot machines remotely in the event that something goes wrong.
3. Security Solutions
Beyond identity and system management, it’s important for admins to remember that remote users pose a potentially significant risk. Admins need a solution from which they can require multi-factor authentication (MFA) on virtually all IT resources to guard against phishing or other attacks that compromise credentials. They also need the ability to immediately suspend access for a user identity across their infrastructure in the event that credentials are compromised or an employee leaves the organization for any reason.
Beyond MFA, admins also need to be able to enforce other security configurations like full-disk encryption and the least-privilege model of access control. Controlling and securing the network that end users leverage is critical, as is ensuring secure access to applications.
Enabling remote work is an imperative in today’s environment. For IT, doing so with ease and control is required.
Learn More about Cloud Infrastructure
JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is a cloud directory service that can either serve as a standalone directory or as a comprehensive AD identity bridge. With JumpCloud, admins can federate core user identities to virtually all IT resources, manage system and security configurations, and ensure visibility across their environment. Click here to learn more about how JumpCloud enables remote work, securely.