Akamai released a tool on Jan. 24 that government agencies can use to secure their telecommuting employees’ devices.
Many government employees, at both the Federal and state level, telecommute. Akamai’s tool, Enterprise Application Access, will allow a remote employee to use only those applications that he or she has been granted access to. For example, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employee whose job is to manage payroll will be able to access only the payroll when working remotely.
“This is designed for enterprises, not necessarily government, but we think government will find it to be very applicable to the marketplace,” said Tom Ruff, vice president of public sector America’s and Latin American markets for Akamai Technologies, in an interview with MeriTalk.
Enterprises often rely on Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs), Virtual Private Network (VPN) appliances, and identity management and application monitoring solutions for securing their teleworkers’ devices. However, Ruff said that VPNs can “provide security vulnerabilities.” He used the example of a large retail breach caused by a remote contractor who had malicious software on his device.
Enterprise Application Access is meant to provide a more secure alternative, Ruff said.
“Any device, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, can be used for access in a more secure and effective fashion,” Ruff said.
The solution may save agencies some money; Ruff said that Enterprise Application Access is “easily” 50 percent of the cost of making sure government-issued devices have the proper plug-ins and are secure for certain applications. Akamai has already conducted multiple conversations with Federal defense and civilian agencies, as well as state and local government entities, who are interested in using the product, Ruff said.
Enterprise Application Access is a stand-alone service, meaning entities that have no prior experience with Akamai tools can still use it.
In addition to offering remote employee security, Enterprise Application Access also provides secure cloud access, especially to individuals trying to access public cloud offerings, Ruff said. Enterprise Application Access is already running on Amazon GovCloud.
“It provides more secure public cloud capabilities,” Ruff said. “As people are looking to move to cloud, we believe this is the ideal solution.”