Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes
5th June 2020
As promised, last week we are looking at one of the challenges now being thrown up to IT teams all over the world by the global Covid-19 lockdown. Click here if you need a bit more context about why we’re talking about Home Networking this week!
As mentioned last week, most organisations currently have their staff working remotely from home. This has resulted in staff now working over their existing home broadband connection (assuming they have one). And, as also mentioned last week, we’re already talking about home working now being part of the “new normal” that is emerging and will therefore now need to form a part of the IT Strategy of the future.
So, now we’ve got over the hurrah of the lights not going out, the realities of this working arrangement are starting to become apparent. One of these is that the fundamentals of the network, which is supporting the business, have been shifted in a number of major ways:
- The number of Nodes in the company network has dramatically changed
- The network is now made up of unmanaged network devices
- The visibility of what is going on has dropped to effectively zero
- The majority of users have shifted to using wireless over wired
Think about it. All your (now empty) offices were working on managed switches and access points. As a result of this they were (mainly):
- Monitored and managed
- Supported and patched
- Trusted and secure!
Now at home, we have a very different picture…
Generally, people have a wireless router that was provided by their ISP “free” when they signed up. You will now have a whole variety of these type of devices supporting your staff at present, but in general, they will be:
- Of varying age, anything up to 10 years old is possible
- Shall we say, ‘engineered to a price point’
- In many households, they also support a mixture of bandwidth-hungry home devices (games consoles and 4K TVs being classic examples)
There is a great blog here detailing the likely risks exposed by the home kit and the resulting risk to corporate devices that have been connected to it for some time.
Beyond the security of the home network, there is now also the fact that this “last mile” in the home is totally beyond IT’s ability to monitor or support it. It’s all great when it works, but when it doesn’t, there’s suddenly a realisation about how little there is that can be done to support the user – I’ve even heard of IT teams skilling up with the knowledge of the various common flavours of the home router to support their staff when there is an issue.
Add in the interesting fact that user expectation is already starting to shift – there is an increasing expectation that all this stuff needs to work all the time, just like it did in the office. Business revenue is now dependant on all this working!
In an ideal world, it would be much cleaner, like a separate network that could be spun up that is dedicated to the home worker.
And this is what we can do.
Get in touch if you want to find out more about how we can deliver a range of home office networking solutions running over 4G or 5G. You’d be amazed at what is now possible when you move beyond domestic broadband these days!