How Human Interest brings innovation to retirement savings using Twingate
Twingate supports Human Interest’s rapidly growing remote workforce, which uses Twingate as a long-term solution that scales with its business, simplifies remote access for employees, and dramatically reduces administrative overhead.
When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, Human Interest’s IT team was already busy maintaining the technology infrastructure for a rapidly scaling business. The company was growing quickly in size, and its platform, IT, and security teams were focused on innovating their technology stack to meet the needs of their employees, customers, and partners.
Then, with the sudden shift to remote work, the team immediately felt the strain on their existing network infrastructure. Human Interest’s hardware-based VPN was previously used by only a handful of people, but was now “bursting at the seams,” as described by Human Interest CTO, Paul Mason.
Onboarding hundreds of employees onto their existing VPN was an extremely time consuming process. Most of Human Interest’s resources resided on AWS or elsewhere in the cloud and were secured with IP-based restrictions enforced by a bastion host. The move to a fully remote workforce meant that employee home IP addresses frequently needed to be manually added and updated on the bastion host.
The employee experience was similarly burdensome. VPN setup and onboarding required each of Human Interest’s 200+ employees to follow several pages of instructions, and it was common for the IT team to continually field support calls during this process, leading to hours of lost productivity.
To make things worse, the VPN was full tunnel by default—all internet traffic from connected users was routed through Human Interest’s corporate network. With employees joining video calls and consuming streaming media from home, Human Interest’s network became congested, leading to choppy Zoom meetings and an increasingly frustrated workforce. “In order to fix the performance issues, we would have needed to reconfigure the VPN for a split tunnel setup, which would have been a nightmare, requiring configuration changes at both the server and client end,” noted Mason.
As Human Interest’s business continued to grow during the pandemic, the issues they experienced with their traditional VPN became an unbearable burden to their IT teams, and they needed to find a solution.
As a provider of retirement plan solutions, Human Interest knows the importance of planning for the long term. Once Mason and his team identified that the VPN was not going to offer a sustainable, scalable solution for them, they set out to look for a better option that would support them in the years ahead.
“We were trying to manage the overall needs as our company was growing while trying to stay on top of the ongoing VPN issues all at once, and it was just too much,” said Mason. “It quickly became clear that we needed to replace our VPN with a better longer-term alternative.”
In addition to in-depth evaluations of security and reliability, another key requirement for Human Interest was efficiency: reducing the overall administrative burden on the IT team, and improving the setup and online experience for users.
These requirements led Human Interest to Twingate, which not only checked all of these boxes, but completely changed the way the team thought about remote access and Zero Trust in general.
Looking at its growth trajectory ahead, Human Interest chose Twingate to replace its VPN and provide a future-proofed remote access solution that would also scale with the business in the long term. Importantly, Human Interest also enhanced its security posture and improved the experience for its employees. “I’m definitely what you would call a happy user. Twingate has been fantastic for Human Interest. I’m glad that I won’t be going back to the days of setting up our VPN manually.” Mason said.
Fast and Easy Deployment
Human Interest was able to migrate to Twingate as their long-term solution of choice much earlier than they originally expected due to how easy Twingate was to deploy.
- As a software- and cloud-based solution, Twingate does not require hardware appliances to be installed or changes to network infrastructure, allowing Human Interest to get started with Twingate without going through weeks or months of implementation planning and effort.
- Twingate can run alongside an existing VPN, allowing Human Interest to manage risk by evaluating and gradually rolling out Twingate without the need to rip and replace its existing VPN.
Automation and Scalability
Twingate simplified Human Interest’s network infrastructure and provided enhanced automation capabilities, which meant a significant reduction in manual maintenance and monitoring.
- Twingate eliminates the need for VPN gateways and bastion hosts, meaning fewer components to configure and maintain.
- Twingate’s ability to integrate with leading identity providers (IdPs) meant that Human Interest could rely on Okta, its IdP of choice, for user authentication. User accounts and access credentials are automatically synced from Okta. In addition, Twingate offers MFA support out of the box, providing better security for Human Interest with minimal effort.
- Twingate’s client applications can be downloaded directly by users from app stores and the Twingate website, or be pushed directly to any device using a MDM solution. This means better access for employees and easier deployment for the IT team, even as the company grows.
- “With Twingate, it’s easy. We have a MDM solution that can push out the app to any device. The user just needs to open the app, type in Human Interest, and it’s done,” said Mason.
Improved User Experience and Performance
Twingate improved the experience for Human Interest’s users as well, resulting in less time on support calls with the IT team, and less time waiting for resources to load.
- Twingate eliminated a VPN setup process that routinely took over 30 minutes for even technically-minded employees, freeing up more time for both employees and IT support staff. “When we told people to log on to the VPN in the past, users often got confused. But Twingate simplified everything—everyone knows how to click on the Twingate icon,” noted Mason.
- Twingate offers split tunneling by default. With no complicated configuration required, this led to instantly faster network connectivity for users and an immediate reduction in network congestion. No longer did the IT team have to manage bandwidth consumption by resorting to workarounds like blocking access to certain destinations. As Mason observed, “I used to always hear that VPN is slow. I don’t hear that anymore after using Twingate.”