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Industry Perspectives

Telecom Company Replaces Traditional VPN with Skyhigh Private Access

June 6, 2024

By America Garcia - Product Marketing Manager, Skyhigh Security

The telecommunications industry provides vital services that we all rely on a daily basis. Disruptions resulting from cyberattacks can have far-reaching and potentially serious consequences for everyone—from individual consumers to governments and large enterprises. As organizations in this sector evolve and adopt the latest technology innovations, protecting the vast repositories of sensitive data they hold and ensuring continuity of service becomes more critical than ever before. Faced with mounting cyber threats and increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, telecommunications companies are looking for reliable and robust security solutions to minimize the risk of unauthorized access and potential data breaches.

Shifting to hybrid work demands a new approach

A U.S. telecommunications company that provides high-speed internet access across phones and television to urban and rural areas was looking to overcome the shortfalls of its traditional VPNs. The existing VPN infrastructure consisting of costly, high-maintenance appliances could not scale quickly enough to support the company’s distributed hybrid workforce. The company’s objectives were to provide its employees with a secure, consistent, and seamless experience when connecting to private applications and prevent lateral movement of threats and loss of sensitive data.

Challenges: Why traditional VPNs are no longer viable

The company articulated two key areas of concern associated with its traditional VPNs:

  1. Limited access points: VPN access was restricted to specific locations where VPN concentrators were deployed. Remote users had to be directed to distant data centers, leading to latency, bandwidth issues, and unreliable connectivity. By backhauling user traffic to data centers via costly MPLS setups, user access to essential business cloud applications was significantly slower.
  2. Access control issues: Other than implementing minimal network segmentation, it was difficult for the company to ensure that users could only access authorized applications and resources. With VPN, users were able to browse and access any resources and data on the network. This left the door open for malicious actors to gain access to the network and move laterally in search of high-value targets, such as databases.

Solution: Skyhigh Private Access

As an alternative to traditional VPN, the telecommunications company adopted Skyhigh Private Access, part of the unified Skyhigh Cloud Platform that integrates multiple innovative security technologies, all managed from a single, converged management console. Skyhigh Private Access uniquely provides comprehensive protection for data and private applications. With Skyhigh Private Access, users can now securely access private applications hosted in data centers and the cloud—regardless of where they work—based on the Zero Trust principle of “never trust, always verify.” The solution offers infinite cloud capacity at scale, provides 99.999% uptime, reduces network latency, and improves performance while protecting data at rest and in motion across private applications.

Positive Outcomes: Preparing for future expansion with a Zero Trust framework

  • Rapid deployment: The security team successfully transitioned more than 8,000 global employees to a work-from-anywhere Zero Trust application access model in just a few weeks. Skyhigh Private Access also reduced configuration time for security connectors from over an hour to mere seconds.
  • Boost security posture and resiliency: Skyhigh Private Access replaced traditional VPNs, reducing the attack surface and stopping lateral movement. By doing so, it prevents network compromise and data breaches. It also discovered and protected previously unknown applications, applying corporate security measures across the entire organization.
  • Seamless application connectivity and consistent user experience: Backhauling has become a thing of the past. Remote users now experience lower latency and seamlessly connect to applications hosted in the public cloud from Skyhigh Security’s global network of points of presence (POPs). Performance is further enhanced by efficiently segmenting network access using policy-based tools.
  • Data safety and integrity: Private Access continuously verifies all users, all devices (managed and unmanaged), and connections prior to granting access to sensitive resources and data. Additionally, it integrates inline data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities, including deep traffic inspection, isolation from risky devices, and enablement of secure remote collaboration.

Thanks to Skyhigh Private Access, this telecommunications customer has been able to address vulnerabilities, safeguard data and applications, and provide high-performance, seamless, and secure application connectivity for its workforce. It is now well-positioned for future growth and success in this ever-changing and dynamic industry sector.

To learn more about how Skyhigh Private Access secures access for remote and hybrid users to private applications from any device, anywhere, without restricting user collaboration, read the solution brief.

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