For our last posts, we honored America’s heroes for #MemorialDay and gave a sneak peek into what the Cisco Live digital experience has to offer. Today, #GovernmentNow will dive into remote telework and the critical importance of integrated security.

Remote government workers – practically overnight, we’ve gone from just a few to more than 90%. Many agencies have supported mobility and remote work on limited basis for years, but the global pandemic has forced just about everyone to work from home as social distancing helps keep everyone safe.

Productivity benefits of remote work

Beyond health and safety, many agencies are seeing improved productivity from their dedicated employees who are working remotely. As an example from the Federal government, NPR reports that the Social Security Administration has reduced their case backlog by 11%. Many state and local agencies are also reporting similar improvements. When we get to “the new normal,” it looks like remote work will remain an important priority for all governments.

New attack vectors

To fully realize the benefits of remote work, it must be secure. You need to defend against new threats including:

  • Mission-critical data is now traveling over networks you do not control, like insecure home networks or public Wi-Fi
  • Employees are probably working with personally owned devices, which are often out-of-date, vulnerable or generally insecure
  • Cyber criminals are using clever tactics to spread malware or trick people into revealing privileged access credentials.

Overworked network and security teams

The rapid shift to remote work places a sudden strain on both your security and IT teams. They’re facing dual challenges of quickly providing support for large numbers of offsite workers and their devices — without compromising security. And many of them find themselves working remotely too. How can you ensure that everyone can connect securely and be productive from anywhere, on any device?

Cisco makes remote working simple

At Cisco, we help keep your agency running despite the unprecedented pandemic we all face. In this new reality, you need a simple and easy way to secure remote workers at the speed and the scale needed to serve your community.

Our Cisco Secure Remote Worker solution unifies user and device protection, making it easy to verify, enable secure access and defend remote workers at anytime from anywhere. This integrated solution helps accelerate your agency’s success with security that works together, delivering the power of Cisco Duo, AnyConnect, Umbrella, and AMP for Endpoints – all while being easy to deploy and offering quick results.

  • Cisco Duo safeguards all users, devices, and applications. It provides multi-factor authentication to make sure every user is who they say they are. Dynamic device trust, adaptive authentication, and secure single sign-on for every user and device.
  • Cisco AnyConnect is more than your typical VPN. It gives your users highly secure access to the agency network, from any device, at any time, in any location. It integrates with other Cisco products to give more insight into user and endpoint behavior with full visibility across the extended enterprise.
  • Cisco Umbrella delivers a fast, secure, and reliable internet experience to your users. It uses the internet’s infrastructure to block malicious and unwanted domains, IP addresses, and cloud applications before a connection is ever established.
  • Cisco AMP for Endpoints offers a cloud-delivered next-generation antivirus, endpoint protection platform (EPP), and advanced endpoint detection and response (EDR). Using the worldwide threat intelligence of Cisco Talos, it will block attacks before they can target you.

Integrated security makes remote work more effective

Each of the solutions above are important security capabilities, but they’re not a set of disconnected, uncoordinated products. They work together to make your overall security program more effective. For example, if malware infects an employee’s personal device, AMP for Endpoints will quarantine the malicious file, and then it can inform Duo to block critical system access until the infection is eradicated. It’s integrated and automatic. 

SecureX is Cisco’s broad, integrated security platform that unifies visibility, enables automation, and strengthens your security across network, endpoint, cloud, and applications. It’s a built-in experience for all Cisco Security products that connects with your entire security infrastructure. And because it’s already built in, there’s nothing more to buy: SecureX is available to all Cisco Security customers at no extra cost.

Financial flexibility to act now

And there’s more to help you through these challenging times. Now, we’re providing free, additional user licenses for existing customers, and extended free trials to new customers. Additionally, Cisco Capital is offering special financing that includes an up-front 90-day payment holiday, including an option to defer 95 percent of the cost until 2021.

Remote work – you can do it

Unexpectedly and practically overnight, you need highly scalable, secure telework options to keep your agency functioning and productive. With Cisco, you can do it.

We’re here to help secure what’s now and what’s next.

How do you stay secure while you work from home? We’d love to hear what you think. Comment below. Share your thoughts. Join the conversation. And keep an eye out for our next #GovernmentNow post.


Peter Romness

Cybersecurity Principal, US Public Sector CTO Office