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."


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.


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

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