Virtual Network innovators revolutionise hybrid user access and offer cure to January’s Cyber Essentials headaches
Since the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials certification scheme began in 2014, its guidance on managing cyber security threats has given a confidence boost to both businesses and customers alike. Yet many companies keen to maintain accreditation could be found wanting in January 2022, as the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) rolls out its biggest update to Cyber Essentials.
Among the changes are new technical controls for remote users and cloud services; affecting organisations where hybrid working, or distance learning has dramatically increased in recent years. For IT managers seeking to avoid a likely raft of administrative headaches, an easy to instal yet astonishingly versatile solution is available from UK-based virtualised network innovators, iQuila.
In many ways, iQuila’s transformative and truly disruptive software-defined networking (SDN) platform is the killer app that makes a multitude of device configuration tasks redundant and brings with it a host of access and security benefits.
The company’s Virtual Extended Network (VEN) is the world’s first SDN to deliver a reliable and seamless ‘full’ Layer 2 networking experience for remote users. In short, it’s like they never left the office or classroom, as iQuila’s lightweight app enables transparent access to all the services and protections of the organisation’s LAN, wherever they happen to be, and on any device.
iQuila’s VEN technology, eliminates the Layer 3 internet remote access networking shortcomings that hybrid users face, and IT personnel have to manage. No more unstable legacy tech VPNs, and gone are all the performance, configuration and access nightmares that go with them. Simplifying all manner of connectivity complications and vulnerabilities, iQuila remote users experience the same security controls used on the office LAN, from access restrictions to endpoint threat detections.
If you’re looking to meet the new Cyber Essentials compliance conditions, and more besides, then iQuila is the magic bullet that minimises administrative labours while enhancing the user experience.
Technically, iQuila utilises a custom AI module to manage transport segmentation (the slicing and dicing of data streams) and applies its proprietary VEN protocol between end points. The entire Layer 2 segment is encrypted using the company’s own security protocols. The AI functions have a self-learning capability; prioritising traffic and eliminating duplicate data that tends to proliferate among lower cost devices used in home environments.
As David Sweet iQuila CEO explains: “The AI looks at the remote connection traffic activity on the network and learns to allow only data that is required to pass through it. Within a few hours it builds up a picture of how users operate within the network and constantly fine tunes its behaviour to give you the best possible connection. And, of course, you can implement security measures to direct users to specific areas and deny access to other locations. Security can be further refined to restrict what type of data can be accessed and the priority it is given.”
With two main offerings, iQuila Cloud and iQuila Enterprise, businesses and organisations of any size can reap the benefits of using iQuila’s Virtual Extended Network, furthering the reach of their secure LAN resources to any remote user.
iQuila Cloud is a cost-effective solution for smaller businesses. Operated by iQuila, it presents IT administrators with a flexible feature set to manage multiple remote users and devices on the network.
By contrast, iQuila Enterprise offers full control of the network and can be installed in minutes alongside existing infrastructure. Instances can also be clustered to accommodate expanding user demand. With only 500kB of RAM required per active user and, hardware permitting, up to 10,000 users on a single instance, a mere 5GB of RAM is all that would be consumed at full capacity.
When medical equipment manufacturer Penlon was called upon by the UK government to ramp up production of ventilators, in response to the pandemic, it sought out an additional site to meet the demand. Penlon’s top priority was to establish robust network connectivity with its main site.
“Having a second site, which needed to work seamlessly with our main site, was a new challenge,” recalls Tony Serratore, head of IT and digital technology at Penlon. “David and the team at iQuila were extremely responsive and quick to action. In just one afternoon, we had the connection, and the two sites were running as one. Everyone in the business had instant access to everything they needed wherever they were, there were no disruptions in connection or productivity, and we could maintain the highest level of control to ensure security and compliance.”
iQuila’s Virtual Extended Network is capable of encapsulating an organisation’s hosting environment(s) to make it accessible in any remote location. It goes beyond replacing legacy VPN connectivity for remote users and demonstrates extraordinary benefits in disaster recovery (DR).
When applied to a disaster recovery scenario, scripted or manual IP reassignments required for virtual machine allocations are no longer necessary. Even costly MPLS line and SD-WAN alternatives can be replaced by iQuila’s VEN technology. But why wait months for a dedicated MPLS connection when iQuila’s inexpensive SDN can facilitate instant failover safeguards from day one?
With industrial, educational and local authority clients, iQuila’s technology has an expanding user base who praise its simplicity, transparency and robustness. Whether you’re looking for a shortcut to Cyber Essentials compliance for hybrid users; sharing resources with remote learners, or have no time to waste for expansion, iQuila’s Enterprise and Cloud SDN solutions maximise the benefits of network virtualisation.
As iQuila director Bill McCormick observes: “The cyber security industry is worth about £800bn and that’s because of the insecurity outside of the LAN. Once you move outside your LAN protection you are fair game to hackers. We can extend the LAN anywhere in the world. iQuila’s VEN is a one-stop shop replacing legacy VPNs and costly MPLS and SD-WAN communications – it’ll do everything.”
The iQuila client app is compatible with macOS, Windows, multiple flavours of Linux, iOS and Android, embedded options are also available.
Visit iQuila for more information.