The word ‘unprecedented’ will likely end up being the most commonly used word in 2020 and rightly so. We are living through a one of a kind global health crisis that has forced the world to embark on what is undoubtedly the largest experiment in remote work. Globally, businesses small and large responded to the pandemic by enabling their workforces with support, training and access to necessary enterprise technology and digital resources. This has made it possible for many employees continue being safe and productive – wherever they are located.
Businesses and employees have quickly learned to adapt. A recent Gartner survey1 even found that nearly 82% of enterprises intend to permit remote work some of the time, making it clear that remote work is no longer a trend, it is here to stay.
But as businesses begin to settle into the new normal of a distributed workforce, they need to begin to reassess their IT and Security practices. While the unplanned and widespread shift to remote work has been fairly successful, an unintended consequence has been a parallel increase in cyberattacks. Most notably phishing attacks, which have seen a dramatic 667% increase2 since the end of February 2020.
Now more than ever, organizations are rapidly looking to continue investing and reallocating resources to support remote work and security initiatives. However, in a crowded industry that is filled with multiple point solution vendors, security professionals are burdened by the management overload that comes with their search. According to IBM estimates3, enterprises use as many as 80 different security products from 40 vendors that are not integrated.
At VMware, we strongly believe that what the security industry needs is not another security product but a new approach to delivering security. We need security that is not an after-thought or add, but instead built right into your infrastructure. We need security that is unified and well-integrated. Security that understands the overall context of the event and can respond holistically to threats.
Our Workspace One platform does exactly that. Over the years we have worked to break down silos and bring the best of compliance and security together by building intrinsic Zero Trust capabilities right into the platform.
Fig 1: VMware Workspace ONE Platform bridges the silos between IT and InfoSec teams & tools
Today, we’re continuing to innovate and increase the capabilities of Zero Trust by investing in three key areas of focus:
- Authentication and policy enforcement
- Management and security integration
- Intrinsically secure access to the network and cloud
These new Workspace Security offerings are equipped to meet the growing demands of our remote work environment.
Robust Platform for Continuous Authentication and Policy Enforcement
With a distributed workforce, organizations are losing the visibility into the activity they need to watch on the corporate network. This is exposing them to more threats in an environment in which the attack surface has exploded.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Zero Trust approach to security is discussed more often today then ever before. After first launching our approach to Zero Trust last year, we have continued to build out new features to make Workspace ONE a robust platform for compliance and security while delivering Zero Trust intrinsically. This year, we have some exciting announcements that strengthen our position even further.
- Multi-Factor Authentication in Intelligent Hub – Authentication is the cornerstone of Zero Trust and we are now adding to our capabilities in this area by integrating the ability to prompt for a second factor authentication directly into the Intelligent Hub. This offers users a modern push-based experience without leaving the app and makes adoption easier.
- Cross-Platform Vulnerability Management – In a remote work environment, it’s important that vulnerabilities are identified and patched in a timely fashion. That’s why we are excited to offer a solution that helps you meet and exceed SLAs. Our complete cross-platform vulnerability management solution will include out of the box dashboards, alerting and automation. While this is currently only available for Windows 10, it will soon be available for MacOS with support for mobile devices coming later.
- Augmenting Risk Analytics with Login Risk Assessment – Over the last year, Workspace ONE’s Risk Analytics capabilities have enabled customers to verify a risk score for every user and leverage this risk score to influence conditional access policies. In an effort to enhance this further, we are now announcing Login Risk Assessment which will take in additional context around the point of authentication and calculate or update risk scores at each login.
- Continuous Enforcement with Tunnel – To round out our Zero Trust capabilities, we are also announcing additional control points to enforce policies giving customers added protection. For most vendors, the access engine is the primary enforcement point for any access policies. With Workspace ONE, we will be able to leverage our unique capabilities with Workspace ONE Tunnel to continuously evaluate activity even after users are authenticated. Tunnel leverages consumer signals from the Workspace ONE platform and then takes enforcement actions such as interrupting app sessions or requiring identity validation.
Integrating Management and Security Capabilities for Unique Differentiations
It’s been about a year since our cloud native endpoint and workload protection, Carbon Black joined VMware and it’s been quite the year. The vision behind the acquisition was always around tying security directly into VMware’s products to give customers a unique and differentiated solution. But the pace of innovation and integration has surprised even the most optimistic of minds. Over the last 12 months, our Workspace ONE and Carbon Black teams have come together to redefine the space of End User Computing and Endpoint Security.
Fig 2: VMware’s Workspace Security Solutions Help Manage and Secure your environments
At VMworld this year, we announced the general availability of two new products under the Workspace Security Category:
- Workspace Security Remote – Enabling enterprises to better manage and secure physical devices.
- Workspace Security VDI – Enabling enterprises to manage and secure their Virtual apps and Desktops.
Workspace Security Remote
Designed to intrinsically manage and protect your windows and macOS devices, Workspace Security Remote leverages deep integrations between Carbon Black Endpoint Solutions and Workspace ONE to give customers the ability to augment device compliance with real-time threat data to enhance the data set with which to make access decisions.
Our teams have also built unique integrations that allow for Workspace ONE to communicate with Carbon Black to initiate a quarantine routine to enable any infected device to be isolated, inspected and remediated before getting access to enterprise resources. All this, while the IT team stays informed and continues to communicate to the user about the status of the device through automated notifications via ITSM tools of their choice.
Workspace Security VDI
Built to address the compliance needs of some of the largest enterprise customers in healthcare, retail and financial services, Workspace Security VDI brings together Horizon, an industry leading Desktop Virtualization solution, with Carbon Black solutions to further add to Horizon’s existing security capabilities.
With Horizon, organizations have built-in security capabilities such as centralized management and device agnostic usability without any data leakage. But with Workspace Security VDI, we now bring Carbon Black’s next-generation antivirus (NGAV) and audit and remediation capabilities to bare as well. Additionally, for those who are customers of vSphere, Carbon Black can be completely agentless on their virtual desktops – taking away another pain point around maintaining the agent.
With Workspace Security VDI, customers get the best in class benefits of a cloud native NGAV that is not offered by traditional antivirus vendors. Additionally, by becoming the only solution vendor to build, test and deliver a combined solution for Virtual Desktops and Applications, Workspace Security solution is fine-tuned for performance that is unmatched by any other vendor.
Customers have asked for a solution like this for years and we are delighted to bring it to the market. Early customers have loved what they have seen, and we can’t wait for everyone to try this solution. We firmly believe that this is just the beginning of the Workspace Security journey and as tighter integrations come about, we see this combined solution for management and security becoming an industry gold standard.
Extending Intrinsically Secure Access to the Network and Cloud
We built a robust Zero Trust platform and combined a leading endpoint security solution, but we did not stop there. VMware is uniquely positioned as the only company that can offer end-to-end security spanning devices, users, network and the cloud.
Leveraging this, we announced the availability of VMware SASE Platform – a global infrastructure that converges our security capabilities and combines it with VMware SD-WAN’s ability to deliver optimal application performance.
Fig 3: Workspace ONE enables Zero Trust Secure Access for the remote workforce
By extending the Zero Trust capabilities of Workspace ONE into the VMware SASE Platform, this comprehensive solution is able to provide more secure and optimized application connectivity for branch, home or remote users.
Banner Year for Security
It’s been a banner year for security here at VMware. We have been busy building and delivering a strong portfolio of security solutions in the midst of the most challenging times in the world. Its best encapsulated by this analyst report4 on Forbes “VMware Security – One of The Best Kept IT Secrets”. The pandemic has challenged everybody in different ways. For us, it pushed us to deliver on solutions for maintaining business continuity and to support remote work and VMware has delivered many solutions. We are excited to continue innovating and delighting customers.
Hope you are all have enjoyed everything you have seen and heard so far at the first ever virtual VMworld. I would encourage you all to revisit some of the recorded sessions from VMworld to further understand everything we are doing for security in the Digital Workspace and beyond. Here are a few good ones to bookmark.
- Solutions Keynote: Journey to a Future Ready Workforce [DW2716]
Speakers: Shanker Iyer (SVP &GM, VMware) and Shawn Bass (VP CTO, VMware)
- Solutions Keynote: Intrinsic Security, Intrinsic Advantage [IS2800]
Speakers: Sanjay Poonen (COO, VMware), Patrick Morley (SVP & GM, VMware)
- Pushing Boundaries with SD-WAN: SASE at its Best
Speaker: Sanjay Uppal, (SVP & GM VMware)
- How Management and Security Must Combine to Deliver Secure Digital Workspace [ISWS2945]
Speakers: Shawn Bass (VP CTO, VMware) and Customer
- Security for Business Continuity and Remote Work [ISNS2893]
Speaker: Harsha Nagaraju (Sr. PMM, VMware)
- A Practical Guide to Implementing Zero Trust [ISWS1383]
Speaker: Peter Bjork, (Principal Architect, VMware)
1 Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Survey Reveals 82% of Company Leaders Plan to Allow Employees to Work Remotely Some of the Time,” July 14, 2020. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-07-14-gartner-survey-reveals-82-percent-of-company-leaders-plan-to-allow-employees-to-work-remotely-some-of-the-time.