Top 5 Requirements for Securing Your Branch Offices

3min. read

Securing your branch office is crucial to protect your organization’s data and employees as well as ensure your organization does not suffer the consequences of a breach. It takes 279 days on average for organizations to identify and contain a breach, with the total cost of a data breach now at an average US$3.9 million.1 No matter where your employees work from and connect to, you need deep visibility and granular control over their access, data and applications. Here are the key requirements you should consider when securing your branch offices:

1. Complete Visibility

Without a clear view of your network traffic, you cannot identify the users or devices connecting to your corporate apps, data or services. Full content inspection is key to identifying users and devices so policies can be applied to protect data. Moreover, full logging and reporting of all user, device and app activity is necessary when branch offices and remote employees are accessing your corporate data. If your network were subject to a breach, you must be equipped to quickly remediate or react to ensure the threat does not affect your entire organization.

2. Protect Corporate Resources

Your employees will be trying to access your corporate data center from any number of locations. Protecting sensitive data from employees, third-party vendors and contractors is important to reduce risk and maintain compliance. With more and more data being shared via the cloud, visibility and policy enforcement are key to controlling who has access to what data as well as who can remove, copy or share sensitive data. Keep corporate data secure, maintain logs for compliance and investigation purposes, and apply least-privileged access rules to sensitive data.

3. Secure Access to Internet and Cloud Apps

Branch offices and remote employees can find internet connectivity anywhere, but the public internet doesn’t protect your data and communications when your users are accessing the corporate network. The same applies to cloud applications. If you allow users to connect to apps through an unsecured internet connection, their access to corporate data is compromised. Make security user-friendly by bringing the enforcement close to the user in the cloud. This requires a global network that is available everywhere.

4. Zero-Day Threat Prevention

With the increase in data breaches and vulnerability exploits, protecting against zero-day threats is a necessity for any organization – especially those with remote and branch offices that may lack the security tools your headquarters uses. You can deploy a firewall or threat prevention tool at all your locations to automatically identify and block new threats, or you can manage all your traffic in the cloud, eliminating the need for tools at each location.

5. Preventing User Circumvention

Users are savvy. If you protect your network by blocking access to certain apps or websites, users will find ways around that. They can disable the tools on their devices, use other browsers, or connect to mobile hotspots to get around the security measures your organization has put in place. By forcing branch offices and remote employees to connect to the corporate network, you can ensure the same policies are applied.

All this must be done while using local internet breakouts for performance and user experience. Users are quick to complain if bandwidth is low and user experience is poor. Keeping your users happy no matter where they are located will help to ensure they follow security best practices.

Additional Resources

Watch this video to learn how Prisma™ Access can help secure your branch offices.

Explore this interactive infographic to learn more about the challenges organizations face when securing branch offices – and how a cloud-based security approach could be the answer.

Read this blog post to learn what it takes to ensure secure, reliable branch connectivity.


1
“2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report,” Ponemon Institute, July 2019, https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach.