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Work from Home and the Importance of Cyber Security Strategies
Technology - May 04, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has brought upon an unprecedented situation for our digital
workforce. Businesses have been forced to move their operations online and "work
from home" is becoming the new normal. Widescale lockdown and social distancing
norms are expected to last for a long time and therefore, concrete strategies and
protocols with respect to 'work from home' are an urgent need of the hour.
Companies are working on developing such effective strategies which can ensure
business continuity and efficiency. The strategies should be devised considering the
following attributes in mind:
a. Companies should expand access for its employees in order to accommodate
the rapid expansion of remote workers.
b. Companies should investigate new access methods and identity firms should
ramp up their R and D to cope up with the explosion in demand.
c. It is now time for companies to reimagine their infrastructure and invest
more in Cloud, Conferencing and Security. The objective is to create an
agile, efficient and secure workplace.
Security is at the heart of everything!
Security ramifications are going to be a big part of this new strategy as different
sectors (and not just IT) adopt the "work from home" model for their employees. It
is very much possible that the IT infrastructure within these organizations isn't
very advanced and considering the need of the hour and sensitivity of organizational
data; perhaps the first place such companies should invest is IT security. The case
of Zoom is a prime example. As workplace switched to
remote, the demand for video conferencing exploded. However, Zoom was not
able to ramp up its security and there were several cases of privacy breaches. This
raised the red flag and many organizations and governments banned the Zoom platform
for their employees. This is a classic case of why IT security should be the topmost
priority as companies move into the remote model.
The IT security can be procured from cybersecurity vendors but deploying security
also involves an efficient IT security strategy and this strategy has many
attributes. The key ones are listed below:
1) Companies should start moving their existing workloads from the local datacenters
2) Companies should start adopting SaaS based applications to handle the operations
3) The identity governance
which includes employee's access privileges should be improved and made more
secure in order to meet the high demand.
4) The remote access privileges should also be expanded to mobile with employees
using the mobile version of necessary enterprise apps to stay updated and ensure
5) Companies should start looking into Zero Trust access management tools in order to
tackle modern IT threat-scape. These are more secure than the traditional VPN.
How can you secure your remote workplace?
The following points and the instructions alongside might be useful as you step up
the IT security for your workplace.
a. Training: -Keeping your employees aware of the evolving cybersecurity
threats is of paramount importance. Training can enable employees make informed and
responsible decisions in the times of crisis. Nevertheless, training isn't all;
companies should send daily reminders and tips to their employees so that proper
guidelines remain at their fingertips. In addition to the basics as described above,
organizations should also consider the following:
- Document the do's and don’ts about remote access.
- Inform the employees about conferencing and collaboration tools to
-Provide guidance on approved applications, permitted downloads and ensure
that strict adherence is observed.
b. Endpoint security: Companies should ensure that endpoint security
applications are installed in every device the employee is using for remote access.
This also include mobiles which an employee uses to access his/her emails and
conferencing apps. It is also important to establish a minimum standard before
access to necessary information is provided. In addition, companies should also be
flexible in determining the level of access for different employees. Not every data
should be opened for access and not every data should be closed. Proper gateways
must be put in place by which the process of data access is streamlined and
and Access Management: The importance of a strong and stable access
and identity management system cannot be overstated. The following attributes for
the access and identity management must be kept in place:
- Single Sign-on (SSO) dashboard for application distribution.
-Leverage multifactor authentication feature.
-Expand monitoring and create logs to measure security. Generate real time
reports to detect possible breaches.
Operations: A collaborative effort between security and operations
teams are required to ensure that enhanced security measures go hand in hand with
business agility. Security Operations (SecOps) consists of tools and technology
which achieve this goal.
Amidst the pandemic, our digital workplace is seeing a revolution in terms of scale
and demand. Companies are rushing to adopt innovative enterprise software that can
efficiently enable their workforce to work from home. The demand has skyrocketed and
despite the rush, companies should understand that they need to first give priority
strategies; else they will be putting their data and business at serious