Until the coronavirus pandemic hit, employees of State & Local government agencies typically accessed their workstation from in-office, government-sanctioned buildings. For most employees, remote work was not option, but this work culture would abruptly change when social distancing became a mandate. Yet, this dramatic shift in culture to promote and enable work from home (WFH) would not have been possible, let alone successful, without the right technology to support it
How the State of Illinois Made WFH Work
In March 2020, all 30,000 employees for the State of Illinois were abruptly ordered to work from home in response to the spread of COVID-19. Not only did the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) need to figure out a way to grant employees secure access to their workstations from their personal devices at home, but it also had to meet the state’s stringent compliance standards with regards to provisioning access to critical state applications, systems, and information.
Adam Ford, Chief Information Security Officer at the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology, recognized that a new remote support solution had to meet the DoIT’s rigorous security standards. DoIT needed to assure the citizens of Illinois that, even when working outside the office, the government could still protect their data.
DoIT turned to BeyondTrust to implement a remote support solution that aligned with the state’s security and productivity needs. BeyondTrust Remote Support allows employees to connect to their desktop in the office from their home device. Users can securely access their office desktops via any browser, on almost any device, without needing a VPN.
BeyondTrust Remote Support also allows IT staff to see an employee’s screen and control remote computers and devices running Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. The solution enables IT staff to remotely administer endpoints, regardless of whether or not an end user is present on the device. Using the BeyondTrust solution, IT staff can seamlessly gather critical system information without having to pivot to other toolsets or interrupt an end user’s work activities.
BeyondTrust provides the only Remote Support solution that meets the rigorous requirements of FIPS 140-2 Level 2. Using the solution, all data stays on systems within state facilities, helping ensure DoIT meets compliance standards. The solution also:
- Enables robust encryption of every support session
- Minimizes port exposure by using outbound-only session traffic on TCP Port 443
- Provides granular least privilege control over all support activities
- Monitors and manages every support session to provide strict oversight and address auditing
- Integrates with BeyondTrust Password Safe to consistently enforce credential security best practices for remote support (injecting credentials into sessions, one-time-passwords, etc.)
Beyond the industry-best security features, BeyondTrust Remote Support also provides the feature rich collaboration (chat, etc.), ITSM integration, and other modern capabilities agencies seek in a remote support tool.
Poised for Successful Digital Transformation in 2021 & Beyond
As Ford explains, working with BeyondTrust and other vendors during the pandemic has taught his team the value of “being humble and expecting humility from both sides” when collaborating. “It’s important that the local government community and the vendor community be very transparent about the goals they are trying to achieve” Ford said. By being open and creative, local government leaders can find solutions they might not have thought possible. According to Ford, this kind of open, creative partnership that arose during the pandemic can be “a model for the future of government work.”
DoIT implemented BeyondTrust Remote Support in response to the urgent challenges of a unique moment in time. Yet, these experiences and solutions laid the groundwork for their digital transformation journey in 2021 and Beyond. The BeyondTrust solution will continue to play a pivotal role in enabling this journey.
“Often, government can approach new ideas or new solutions with a lot of resistance,” says Ford. “This experience reminds us that flexibility in government can actually be a good thing and is not something to be feared.”
You can learn more about the State of Illinois DoIT’s journey with BeyondTrust Remote support by reading the case study here.
Or, contact us today to learn what BeyondTrust can do for your agency or enterprise.
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The Remote Access Challenge
Erin Scanlan, Sr. Marketing Manager, Americas
Erin Scanlan is a native to the DMV. Born and raised in MD, she navigated to Arlington, VA once starting her career in the Information Technology industry. Spending the last 5+ years in cybersecurity, Erin currently supports the BeyondTrust Public Sector Team, inclusive of Federal, DoD, S&L and Education. She is responsible for the Public Sector go-to-market strategy, executing on a variety of events and digital programs to generate demand and pipeline growth for sales. In her free time, Erin enjoys the beach, running, spending time with loved ones, and getting outside with her Cavapoo, Zeus.