Akamai Technologies Inc. is a global content delivery network, cybersecurity, and cloud service company, providing web and Internet security services. Its content delivery network is one of the world’s largest distributed computing platforms, responsible for serving between 15% and 30% of all web traffic.
Prasad Mandava, MD India and VP of Engineering at Akamai Technologies, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: What should one do in the case of a sudden increase in remote user volumes?
Prasad Mandava: Akamai has rolled out a robust Unified communications program, enabling audio/video & chat on a single platform. We had already deployed dual-factor authentication, largely eliminating the need for passwords and single sign-on for hundreds of enterprise applications. Akamai’s Enterprise Application Access (EAA) product is based on a Zero Trust model, where we treat our offices like any hotspot and enabled application-level access controls.
We have adopted our own enterprise security products for application access, threat protection as well as web application firewall. With EAA and our other Enterprise products, our employees could already work from anywhere. Our infrastructure is already designed with our global, mobile workforce in mind, so it was a pretty smooth transition when we declared global WFH for our employees.
With COVID-19, a lot has changed in global work environment over the past few months – remote work has become the new normal. Akamai’s technology is helping organizations to grant remote workers secure access to the applications for business productivity. Companies are facing security issues due to a sudden rise in remote user volume, as it is difficult to provide VPN access to everyone.
Akamai’s edge platform is built for a world where businesses depend on the internet for everything. Enabling secure remote access for employees has been a reactive measure and most organizations only plan for this when a disruption or situation occurs.
DQ: How can you maintain application access and security with a completely remote workforce?
Prasad Mandava: Akamai’s edge platform provides the maximum security for a workforce. Applications and users have become more widely distributed and perimeter security is not enough because workers and applications have become more mobile, and infrastructure has been moving to the edge. Thus, securing your remote workforce has always been a challenge, but with Akamai’s technology workforce, we can attain the highest level of security in terms of saving the company confidentiality.
The immediate challenge of having to scale an entire workforce to be working from home and securely gain access to business-critical applications is just the latest challenge. Corporate VPN setups are typically not scoped for large numbers for off-site workers, and scaling access is expensive, slow, and complicated for most businesses. Akamai’s enterprise security solution as a part of edge platform is working seamlessly to maintain security in remote workspace.
DQ: How can businesses that invest in strategic, operational, and financial resilience to emerging global risks will be better positioned to respond and recover?
Prasad Mandava: The impact of the coronavirus continues to be felt across the globe, along with most of the country’s population currently in some form of lockdown. The economic slowdown across the world has hit industries in all the sectors; from MNCs to startup to small businesses — are trying to survive amidst the pandemic while many companies are struggling to manage their operations or communications during this time.
During this critical time, as consumers are doing online transactions and buying their essentials online, web performance and great digital experiences will be one of the key elements in attracting and keeping your customer base. We, at Akamai, help our consumers to deliver with fast personalized online experiences, which enables them to increase revenue opportunities, scale globally along with increased IT agility. Our customers can connect on any device including mobile phones and get a secure access to websites and applications, making their online shopping experience safe and secure.
DQ: How can you maintain business continuity in times of disruption?
Prasad Mandava: As the world battles through the pandemic, over the last few weeks, remote working has become the new normal. This has brought about its own set of challenges mainly due to limitations of the application-based VPN infrastructure. Akamai’s Business Continuity Assistance Program, armed with our enterprise security solutions, can be globally deployed in less than 15 minutes to secure and manage remote access. It comes with a 60-day free usage period for the assessment of our technology and services.
Keeping our clients in mind, Akamai launched the Business Continuity Assistance Program. The program is helping our customers avoid business and productivity disruptions in today’s challenging global environment. Most companies are not prepared for sudden increases in remote users due to limitations of VPN infrastructure and small remote worker scoping.
The VPN infrastructure is often appliance-based, hard to upgrade, and has limited capacity based on original planning assumptions. With Akamai’s enterprise security solutions can be globally deployed in less than 15 minutes to secure and manage remote access. Akamai has also introduced a free 60-day usage period of secure application for its users to enable an assessment where the user can determine our technology and services.