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Empowering Employees to Work Remotely During COVID-19


These are unpredictable and unsettling times. Like all of you, I am watching events unfold in the global response to COVID-19, and I am doing what is best for my family, the Zscaler family, and our customers and partners. With the mission of providing secure, fast, and reliable access to applications, no matter where they reside and no matter where the user is, Zscaler is playing a pivotal role for customers as they react to this situation, and I believe we have an obligation to help customers keep their employees safe and productive as they work from home.

We’ve all been talking about remote working for years, but many organizations are now being immediately forced into it. How exactly do you follow the recommendation of social distancing in a global, interconnected organization without losing productivity or exposing the business to unnecessary risk? This is a central question today for many CEOs, CIOs, and CISOs.

It should be easy for your remote employees to be productive 

The truth is your employees will do whatever is easiest to get the information they need to get their jobs done, and this greatly increases risk. They simply want to turn on their computer or mobile device and begin to work. This means most of them will just go directly to the internet to access cloud applications like Salesforce, AWS, and others for their day-to-day work. 

At Zscaler, our staff is working remotely now like so many of you. We all use the Zscaler cloud platform to enable our teams to deliver the same level of productivity regardless of where they work, what device they’re using, or what business applications they need. 

In recent weeks, as COVID-19 spread, enterprises have reached out to us to help them achieve this same level of productivity by providing access to all internal and external applications as quickly as possible. Here are some examples:

  • DB Schenker, a leading global freight forwarding company, enabled a vast majority of its workforce across Asia Pacific to work remotely, keeping them safe while guaranteeing business continuity. Just weeks after COVID-19 first started to spread, the company implemented Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) and was up and running in a matter of a few days. DB Schenker was already using Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) as part of its cloud-first strategy to balance security with a fast user experience. You can read more in this blog by Gerold Nagel, SVP of Global Infrastructure Services, and Markus Sontheimer, Member of the Board of Management (CIO/CDO), at DB Schenker
  • A Global 100 company that was already using ZIA globally successfully enabled secure, remote access through ZPA to more than 120,000 employees in less than three weeks. 
  • Since January 1, our overall traffic has more than tripled, driven in large part by existing customers fully taking advantage of ZPA; our China traffic has increased more than 12x; Seoul is up 6x; Tokyo has more than doubled; and our newly opened Milan data center quickly became one of the busiest sites across the Zscaler cloud.

A cloud platform designed to keep organizations running from any location

Business contingency plans are put in place by many enterprises, but few saw this type of impact coming. When asking employees to work from home, organizations have to take many things into consideration to keep their employees secure and productive. Will all your employees be able to access all your applications remotely? Can your IT team provide support from home? What’s the impact of your security posture? What will user performance look like? Done the right way, your teams will be able to:

  • Access any applications, whether they are SaaS apps like Salesforce, collaboration tools like Microsoft Office 365, or internal apps, and securely surf the internet.
  • Deliver IT support from any location on any device.
  • Lessen bandwidth use to cut costs and improve employees’ overall user experience.
  • Do all of this while improving overall security by minimizing the attack surface.

To ensure organizations can swiftly respond to this situation, we developed a business continuity program. This program is intended to help organizations deliver on these needs and give their employees fast, secure, reliable access to applications and services and includes free access to professional services to help deploy ZPA quickly. 

As a multitenant platform, Zscaler was built from the ground up to ensure businesses could operate under any conditions, at any scale, anywhere in the world—home or office—and on any device. We have more than 150 globally distributed data centers to bring security close to our customers, and we continue to increase cloud capacity every day. Our cloud operations team has business continuity plans for emergency operations across a wide range of scenarios and recently conducted a successful emergency drill to test our own resilience. I’m proud of the results and in our ability to operate at scale to support customers during this unprecedented crisis. 

Zscaler is committed to helping our customers, employees, and partners remain safe by enabling them to work from anywhere. Please accept my best wishes for your good health and that of your families. 

Jay Chaudhry is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Zscaler

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