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Hybrid work wasn’t just a mini-trend or a temporary solution amidst the pandemic: It has fundamentally transformed the workplace — and dramatically broadened the attack surface. 

According to Splunk’s State of Security 2022 report, 78% of security and IT leaders say that remote workers are harder to secure, and 65% of organizations have reported an uptick in attacks during the pandemic. 

For 83% of companies, it’s not if a data breach occurs, but when, says IBM, whose annual study found that the average cost of a cloud data breach is at an all-time high of $4.35 million. 

Still, the traditional enterprise design of networks and their security have focused on providing the best performance for users that are in-office, said Prakash Mana, CEO and cofounder of Cloudbrink

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“However, the modern hybrid workforce now demands in-office-like lightning-fast access to Office365, Salesforce, Workday, SaaS and data center apps,” he said. “They also expect invisible zero-trust security wherever they are, and whatever network they are connected to.”

To help secure hybrid workforces, Cloudbrink today launched from stealth with a new tool and concept it is deeming hybrid access-as-a-service (HAaaS).

“We’ve spoken to hundreds of CIOs and CISOs who are struggling to resolve the twin problems of performance and security for the hybrid workforce,” said Mana. “They have found no existing solution that adequately addresses the performance issues.”

What is hybrid access-as-a-service (HAaaS)?

Cloudbrink describes HAaaS as a software-only service with built-in security that delivers access experiences for the modern hybrid workforce. 

The company’s tool transforms any home internet or cellular connection and provides a secure end-to-end connection built on dark network and zero-trust principles, said Mana. It replaces legacy VPN and SD-WAN architectures, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide edge-native HAaaS for cloud, SaaS and data center applications.

This reduces enterprise threat vectors without any gateway, hardware or appliance management, enabling employees to “work from anywhere in the world,” said Mana. 

An AI-powered Brink App on end-user devices helps overcome network challenges without impacting experience, while Fast Edges enterprise-access points are automatically created close to the end user, allowing quick reactions to changes in demand. 

For example, one Fortune 100 customer reported performance improvements of up to 30 times, said Mana. For another global fleet management company, the effects of packet loss on latency went from 300 milliseconds on a video conference to less than 10 milliseconds. Mana also pointed out an order-of-magnitude reduction in file-transfer times, and said median latency for all Cloudbrink users around the world has been 6.23 milliseconds over the last five days. 

“Businesses care about that because when you transform the quality of experience for the user, you don’t just increase productivity, you transform morale,” said Mana. 

Addressing performance

Mana pointed out that most hybrid workers’ performance issues are with latency, jitter and packet loss on their Wi-Fi and the last-mile network. Cloudbrink has a preemptive and accelerated packet recovery with a type of forward error correction that fixes more than 98% of packet drops. On average, the company recovers more than 1 million packets for customers each day. 

Ultimately, in addition to traditional zero-trust network access (ZTNA) and SD-WAN functions, a HAaaS service must be edge delivered, said Mana. It must also provide enterprise LAN performance over any consumer internet; direct connect and VPN-less access to any SaaS, cloud and data center application; built-in multicloud connectivity; and device posture assessment for BYOD. 

Cloudbrink’s HAaaS offering is backed by $25 million in VC from Highland Capital Partners and The Fabric co-creation studio. 

“The shape of the network has changed, but the technology hasn’t caught up,” said Corey Mulloy, managing partner at Highland Capital. “Enterprise users now demand lightning-fast access to apps running in the cloud or the data center from anywhere, without worrying about security and how they connect.” 

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