Even before the onset of COVID-19, many employers had begun to recognise the value of allowing staff to work remotely. The pandemic simply accelerated the inevitable – and the shift happened almost overnight
The great work-from-home experiment appears to have been a success. So much so, a recent survey by BCG showed most organisations expect approximately 40% of their employees will make use of a remote working model in the future. Unfortunately, such rapid growth in remote work and BYOD has presented myriad opportunities for user error as well as exploitation by bad actors. The opportunity for disruption is only heightened given so many organisations were forced to quickly deploy their remote action plans using legacy systems and hastily put-together workarounds.
As cyber threats become increasingly complex and their incidences more frequent, how can organisations protect themselves from the risks of remote work without compromising user experience and productivity?
Employees are demanding change
The remote workforce isn’t going away any time soon. On the contrary, as more decision-makers recognise the benefits of allowing staff to work from home – like reduced overheads, greater talent retention and increased productivity – there’s been a concerted shift across many industries about how they view the ‘traditional office worker’.
It’s not only employer expectations driving this shift. BCG’s research also revealed that 60% of employees want flexibility around where and / or how they work in the future, while a November 2020 report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that 30% of Australians wanted to continue working from home even after pandemic restrictions were lifted.
Leaving your assets exposed
Saddled atop the benefits of a remote workforce, however, are real risks to company data – whether through traditional threats like phishing and data breaches, or more audacious attacks like pilfering an employee’s digital or physical access tools. This has created a significant burden for the C-suite and senior decision-makers. According to PwC’s 2021 Global CEO Survey, cyber threats are the most pressing concern for CEOs in North America and Western Europe (and the second most-pressing concern globally, after pandemics and health crises).
Worryingly, only 31% say they’re planning to significantly increase their investment in cybersecurity and data privacy, leaving a staggering number of organisations open to threats. At a time when the workplace is changing forever, the need to securely identify and authenticate team members from anywhere, on any device, is a necessity.
Modern problems require modern solutions
With the evolution of the modern workplace, the notion of the traditional physical or network perimeter has become a thing of the past. Instead, identity has become the front line of security. As Bill Holtz writes for Forbes: “Identity is the new perimeter. If each client machine, server, user, IoT device and business process can carry its own unique identity, these identities become the new ‘perimeter’, preventing outsider access to data and systems.”
To meet both business requirements and employee demands for a secure and productive modern workplace, CISOs and other senior decision-makers need to employ an identity-defined approach to security – one that leverages the latest biometric technology to establish and verify a user’s identity across all access scenarios, whether that’s an employee accessing the company server from home or a contractor gaining access to a building that stores sensitive client data. Using a single, universal credential for authentication and access management not only reduces the burden on your IT and admin personnel, it creates a seamless – and device-agnostic – user experience for your remote workers. Plus you gain peace of mind that the people accessing your company data, systems or physical sites are exactly who they say they are.
Ready to empower your remote workforce while bolstering your security posture? Speak to one of our experts.