Despite the challenges of working from home, the practice has increased worker productivity to the point that it won’t be going away any time soon — if ever.
In fact, a Pulse Secure study found “three-quarters of businesses now have more than 76% of their employees working from home compared to just under 25% at the close of 2019.” Indeed, 84% of companies expect to make remote work more permanent after the pandemic, according to the study.
This heightened emphasis on working from anywhere with a strong enough internet connection greatly increases the endpoints a company must protect to keep its business secure from cyberattacks.
Although most employees feel their devices are safer when working from home than elsewhere, the reality is the devices may be more at risk. Workers’ home or public networks may not be secure, allowing malware and phishing attacks through. In addition, workers may use their personal devices for business purposes, without any security tools installed.
Twenty percent of the 200 managers, directors and C-suite IT executives surveyed by Malwarebytes acknowledged security breaches as a result of remote workers. The report further found 24% of survey respondents had to disburse business funds to recover from remote worker-induced breaches or malware attacks.
It’s time for a new mobility strategy
Managing today’s modern workplace can be complex and costly and result in poor end-user experiences. The old way of securing a company’s network and devices no longer works.
The World Economic Forum estimates that, by 2025, the world will create 463 exabytes of data each day. As connected devices and digital technology proliferate inside and outside the organisation, companies will need to reckon with massive amounts of data generated by employees, customers, partners and third parties. Moreover, that data will increasingly live in dispersed environments—on-premise, in the cloud and at the edge—demanding that organisations develop the right data management strategy to house, protect and manage all that information.
IT professionals are acutely aware of this challenge. According to the 2019 Insight Intelligent Technology™ Index, they cite data security and protection as the top challenge related to globally managing data centre needs, and over half (54%) say data management and governance is a top challenge for managing global IT operations.
So, how can an IT manager ensure security and governance for a remote workforce while streamlining IT operations? A shift from a device and network focus to an emphasis on user identity and access is required.
Device security means nothing if a user logs on from his or her personal device rather than a company-provided device. Identity-based user access, however, protects users, data and applications — regardless of which devices are used to access the corporate network. This approach also safeguards the company from bad actors accessing the network if a device is lost or stolen.
Proactive access management
Implementing multifactor authentication, single sign-on and controlled access will give your business a stronger security posture, especially when it comes to remote workers. It’s vital to:
- Ensure only approved devices can access the corporate network.
- Control which network areas a device can connect to.
- Verify the identity behind each device accessing the network.
“Locking down user accounts across the organisation is key to keeping bad guys from using stolen credentials, especially by the use of practices like multifactor authentication,” states Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report.
A simplified, secure IT environment
Managed services can also help you ensure data security across the enterprise, whether employees are in the office or remote. Offerings such as Insight Managed Mobility and Managed Endpoint can supplement — not replace — your efforts to keep the business secure and help you manage the plethora of endpoints in today’s work environment.
These types of service offerings are designed to evaluate your current endpoint management solution to determine any vulnerabilities, as well as where you could be making better use of the features available to you. Support is also included.
Taking advantage of a managed service like this can not only simplify securing your IT environment, but it can also save your business money and improve the employee experience.
Find simple solutions for your workplace. Insight will help you optimise your IT resources, maximise performance and ensure employee satisfaction.