HCNET Improves Remote Worker Security and Experience with Absolute Secure Access

With Absolute Secure Access, HCNET Can Ensure Reliable Connectivity and Security in a “Work-From-Anywhere” Environment

HC Networks, Ltd. (HCNET) is a network integration company that provides services from proposal to construction and maintenance. With a history of over 40 years in the networking field, HCNET is committed to providing total network and IT solutions and services based on the advanced technologies it has cultivated. In recent years, HCNET has also focused on security measures.

The Story

Addressing Security and Performance Issues for a 1000+ Device Fleet

HCNET has about 1,000 devices across the organization, including PCs and smartphones. HCNET had installed equipment for IPSec-VPN connections to accommodate remote workers. However, HCNET was considering changing its network environment because the authentication system using common device certificates did not provide sufficient security, and IPSec-VPN frequently caused communication instability.

To mitigate any issues, HCNET had a redundant configuration with servers located in Eastern and Western Japan, and when a problem occurred, it would switch to use the server in the safer region. However, the previous system required manual switching, which was not practical in an emergency. Therefore, HCNET was looking for a solution that could automatically switch over in an emergency.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic increase in the number of devices used remotely. At the same time, the support was becoming extremely complicated, as inquiries about connections to the ICT System Section, Technical Supporting Group of HCNST (ICT System) were exploding, and problems had to be isolated after hearing information about the user’s home network environment. The ISG believed that the work style trends changed by the pandemic would not return to normal even after the disaster had passed. Therefore, HCNET considered a solution that would enable remote access from many devices while resolving security and performance issues and reducing the support load.

Security Challenges

Secure Remote Access

Improved User Experience

Prevents Shadow IT Use

"Traditional systems are configured on the premise of good faith and are considered a security risk; with Absolute Secure Access, access to the network is restricted to devices pre-approved by the administrator, thus ensuring safety. The system is secure because network access is restricted to devices that have been approved in advance by the administrator."

YOSHIO NAGAI
MANAGER ICT SYSTEM SECTION, TECHNICAL SUPPORTING GROUP
HCNET

The Solutions

How They Did It

Reliable Connectivity and Security for Remote Workers

HCNET compared a firewall-based, paid VPN client product, a cloud-based, web-proxy type product, and Absolute Secure Access. The first two solutions were products that HCNET handled, so HCNET was well-versed in them; however, Absolute Secure Access was a completely new solution, so ISG conducted a three-month proof of concept (PoC) to verify its functionality and usability. The PoC was supported by Marubeni Information Systems Corporation, which has extensive experience in implementing Absolute Secure Access. As a result of the PoC, “we decided to adopt Absolute Secure Access because we thought it would solve almost all of our problems,” says Nagai.

The build-out with Absolute Secure Access took about two weeks, and deployment was completed in about six weeks. “During the three-month proof of concept period, MSYS’ expertise was also utilized to effectively formulate the policy,” Yoshio Nakayama, Manager, ICT System Section, Technical Supporting Group at HCNET explains. “As a result, we believe we were able to build and deploy in a short period of time.” The deployment was targeted at internal workers and sales, and HCNET hopes to deploy Absolute Secure Access to all devices in the company in the future.

From the standpoint of managing the information systems department, it worked better than expected. I honestly did not expect the support to be so easy. The reduced support load has allowed us to reduce the amount of time our staff spends on support. I hope that the time freed up by Absolute Secure Access will be used for other tasks or to enrich your personal life.

YOSHIO NAGAI
MANAGER ICT SYSTEM SECTION, TECHNICAL SUPPORTING GROUP
HCNET

The Results

Improved User Experience Without Compromising on Security

With Absolute Secure Access, organizations can ensure reliable connectivity and security for their distributed workforce without compromising on end user experience.

For HCNET, Absolute Secure Access:

  • Improves reliability by enabling automatic destination switching in cross-site environments
  • Establishes a secure connection on every network and automatically reconnects should the VPN get disconnected, eliminating the need for users to log in again
  • Prevents shadow IT use and prevents unauthorized access V3through policy enforcement on the endpoint
  • Eliminates the need for administrators to manage multiple security product settings through security measures and policies, reducing workload and improving the experience

Absolute Platform FAQ

The Absolute® Platform leverages a cloud-based, highly-available and secure multi-tenant architecture that is available across different regions. It’s comprised of a variety of foundational components that power Absolute product features that are being leveraged by the company’s enterprise customers and ecosystems partners (e.g., independent software vendors, original equipment manufacturers, or managed service providers) alike.

The Absolute Platform consists of three core components:

  • Absolute Persistence Technology

Absolute Persistence® technology, a unique, patented technology is already embedded in over 600 million devices as a result of Absolute’s partnership with nearly 30 system manufacturers from around the world. Once activated, this technology is fiercely resilient and is the only solution to survive attempts to disable it, even if the device is re-imaged, the hard drive is replaced, or the firmware is updated.

No other technology can do this. Ultimately, it provides a secure, unbreakable, and always-on connection between the Absolute Platform and the endpoint, allowing you to gain unprecedented real-time visibility, control, and remediation capabilities.

  • Absolute Resilience Technology

The Absolute Platform utilizes two types of patented Absolute Resilience™ technology to ensure that mission-critical applications remain healthy and operational and to provide end users with the most productive, as well as optimized remote access experience possible:

  • Application Resilience™: Monitors mission-critical applications’ health and behavior; detects if missing, corrupted, or not running; and automatically repairs or re-installs components when necessary – without requiring human intervention. Application Resilience ensures security controls are working as expected and provides optimal user experience by fixing unhealthy applications. Currently more than 60 mission-critical applications are enabled for Application Resilience and more are being added frequently.
  • Network Resilience™: Monitors and automatically, as well as transparently restores and optimizes unhealthy network connections so networked applications continue to operate without end user-impacting interruptions that would otherwise require manual application restarts, network re-connects, and/or re-authentications. Network Resilience allows for superior connectivity and reliability, allowing end users to focus on their tasks and not network behavior.
  • Absolute Intelligence

Absolute ensures a digital tether to each device remains intact, providing you with reliable insights and intelligence from all of your endpoints to the network edge — on or off your corporate network.

Hundreds of data points are gathered and served up as insights, providing guidance on utilization, health, security and compliance posture, as well as a unified view into the entire end user experience. Applying AI-based risk assessment and user entity behavior analytics lets you go beyond the monitoring of resources and applications, allowing for automated remediation and uncompromised user productivity.

Other foundational components of the Absolute Platform that enable the Absolute Secure Endpoint™ and Secure Access™ products are as follows:

  • Web console
  • Mobile app
  • Rules and policy engine
  • Alerts
  • Dashboards
  • APIs
  • Application Persistence-as-a-Service SDK
  • Third-party integrations (e.g., SIEM, ITSM)

Customers can leverage the Absolute Platform components through Absolute’s packaged products, APIs, and SDKs. The result will be rapid innovation. The Absolute Platform is always included in the product package of choice.

Like what you're hearing?

We’d love to show you how Absolute can secure and empower your organization.

Financial Services