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Security Models of Tomorrow for Work From Anywhere



By Sean Duca, Regional CSO, JAPAC

In the early spring of 2020, as the world shifted to work remotely, security models used by many organizations were put to the test.

Remote work was not a new thing, but never before had it been needed at the same scale and urgency. While many organizations used to have some employees working remotely, few were ready for everyone to be remote. The big question facing all organizations was how to maintain business continuity.

Falling back on using VPN to enable secure remote connectivity worked in some instances. Few were lucky and ordered additional licensing, but many were not, as compute infrastructure could not meet such an increased workload. For the many, it was too late to make any significant changes, so they had to ride the storm, work within the constraints of what they had, and plan for a refresh of technology at the first given moment of respite. With scalability being a significant challenge around VPNs, the bigger issue is that many applications used in organizations today reside in the public cloud or are SaaS applications. Perhaps due to these shortcomings, in recent months, an increasing number of organizations have started to examine different ways of enabling secure connectivity out to the edge and the cloud.

Yesterday’s Security Model Isn’t Right for Tomorrow

In the past, secure remote connectivity was fixed and finite. Organizations would typically allow only a certain number of people to connect to the VPN appliances, restricted by licenses. Those remote connections were also fixed, but the applications were set in terms of their location.

Things move far too rapidly to have fixed resources in place in the modern world, and no one knows what tomorrow holds. As a result, flexibility will reign wherever people work, whether in the office, at home, or anywhere in between, for the foreseeable future.

Applications are also on the move. Gone are the days when most of an enterprise’s applications reside entirely within the four walls of its own data center. Instead, applications and data today reside everywhere: on-premises, in the cloud, and at the edge. As a result, a single enterprise perimeter no longer exists.

Securing the Pervasive Perimeter

If the enterprise uses 25 different SaaS-based applications, the enterprise needs to secure each of those tiny data islands out there. Every application and data source needs to be secured. The enterprise must have visibility into how every user is accessing resources, whether they are in the office or remote.

For me, the whole work-from-anywhere model in the hybrid workplace that we have now got comes down to two key things: the need to secure user access and to provide users with what they require to connect to whatever resources are necessary. The remote connectivity needs to be as secure as if the user was sitting in the corporate office. They need to consume everything the same way, at that same level of security.

Inside the four walls of the enterprise, there are typically various security solutions protecting users. That is part of the reason the notion of just having a VPN for providing connectivity to enable remote work falls short. Instead, enterprises must have a degree of inspection and a level of security rigor to minimize the risk that organizations face every day.

Get Out of the Shadow (IT)

To be fair, all the controls that enterprise IT placed on users didn’t always work either. For example, a common challenge with centrally secured IT resources is the issue of shadow IT, where users would go around their IT departments if they couldn’t get the resources they needed.

As we’re thinking about the security models of tomorrow, it’s an opportunity to try and step out of the shadows. Now is the moment to work closely with our users to determine which applications they use and want—ones that will make them more productive—by leaning in, talking to users, and soliciting as much feedback as we can. Why? Because sometimes, we don’t know all the answers until we ask.

Shadow IT was always about productivity. Embracing a security model that supports the way users want to work, with the applications they need, will let them do their jobs better.

Survive. Thrive. Optimize.

The first phase of enabling remote work in the face of the pandemic was just about survival and making sure work could continue. The second phase was all about making the best of the situation and attempting to thrive. Now it’s time to optimize and build out the security model of tomorrow for work from anywhere to reality.

Providing a secure model for hybrid work requires agility, and it demands scalability. Gone are the days when security and remote work was only enabled by boxes and fixed licenses that limited the ability of organizations to support hybrid work properly.

What is needed is an always-on model that is cloud-delivered, available on-premises and at the edge. In addition, it is a model that should scale up in terms of resources and capabilities as needed

The secure access service edge (SASE) approach is a great model for enabling hybrid work with software-enabled paths. Layering in Zero Trust with SASE helps protect the pervasive perimeter and the various silos of applications and data that users access every day.

It is unknown what the world of tomorrow will be. Who knows what it will throw at us, but we know that there is a need to be nimble and agile. Security needs to be flexible and elastic to wrap around users’ needs, wherever they are, and no matter how they access applications.

Learn more about maintaining a secure hybrid workforce with a holistic cybersecurity platform.



Moroccan B2B ECommerce Platform Chari Nets Funding on $100M Valuation




Morocco-based B2B eCommerce and FinTech startup Chari could see a valuation of $100 million after a new bridge round of funding, TechCrunch reported Thursday (Jan. 20).

Chari functions as a mobile app, allowing traditional proximity store owners in Morocco to order products and have them delivered.

The company is trying to get more into the FinTech space after closing a bridge round which was led by the Saudi Arabia-based venture capital fund Khwarizmi Ventures, AirAngels (Airbnb Alumni Investors) and Afri Mobility, the venture capital arm of AKWA Group.

“Chari will use the money from this bridge round to test the BNPL services with its existing customers,” said Ismael Belkhayat, Chari’s CEO. “Upon successful results, Chari will acquire a local credit company to enable shop owners to lend money to their end users and further grow their business.”

Chari works with over half of the proximity stores in Casablanca, and has expanded into Tunisia. Last August, the company also acquired Karny, a mobile credit book application.

The Karny acquisition gave Chari more data on the loans given by grocery stores to customers, letting it credit assess unbanked shop owners and determine the best payment terms.

Chari was also a participant in the startup investor and incubator Y Combinator S21 batch and raised $5 million in late 2021. PYMNTS writes that Karny’s services help convenience stores use smartphones to manage credit arrangements with customers.

See also: Morocco’s eCommerce Startup Acquires Mobile Credit Book App

The company has around 15,000 convenience store customers. According to Y Combinator’s website, Chari “is an eCommerce and FinTech app for traditional retailers in North Africa allowing them to order any consumer goods they sell and get delivered for free in less than 24 hours.”

Chari also works as a financial services provider for retailers, offering micro-credit facilities.

PYMNTS also reported on Chari’s fundraising last year, writing that it could help the company expand into French-speaking Africa.

Related: Moroccan B2B eCommerce Firm Chari Raises $5M 


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Hudson Swafford Breaks From Pack Late to Win the American Express



Hudson Swafford went eagle-birdie at the 16th and 17th holes to cap a busy final round and win The American Express on Sunday in La Quinta, Calif.

Swafford’s eagle, nine birdies and three bogeys added up to an 8-under 64 that catapulted him to victory after starting the day three strokes off theleaders. At 23-under 265, Swafford beat Tom Hoge (68 Sunday) by two shots.

Brian Harman also shot a 64 earlier in the day to se

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Is Putin Following in Steps of Peter the Great



Three hundred and forty kilometers east of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, lies the city of Poltava.

At its heart is a semi-circular square with a cast-iron column and nearly two dozen eighteenth-century Swedish cannons captured in the 1709 Battle of Poltava, a decisive encounter in the Great Northern War, waged between Russia’s Peter the Great and Sweden’s Charles XII for supremacy in eastern Europe.


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