Into the era of secure remote work

Business opportunities and security risks associated with the rapid shift to remote work

Something many small and medium-sized businesses have discovered during the rapid shift to remote everything: There’s a lot to be gained by not relying on a physical space. It can save overhead, reduce travel expenses and some studies have found it has increased worker productivity (one found a 13% performance boost among at-home workers).1 As a result, many businesses are seriously considering tools and strategies to make the non-physical workplace a permanent part of their businesses.

To succeed, this transformation of physical businesses will require new structures and processes, especially for smaller businesses that were not used to working remotely. Regardless of size, all companies now need to think about securing remote endpoints and IT resources. Employees need to be more vigilant than ever. Cyber attackers have made it clear they’re not taking any time off.

A two-part security challenge: Volume and security

Like so many other companies making the decision to shift to remote everything, your company’s first challenge was how to ensure unimpeded performance for your remote workers who are trying to access their tools and data—or just find a reliable internet connection.

Following close on this first issue is the question of security. Suddenly it’s the ultimate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world. Every employee is now remote, and more focused on being productive than following your pesky security procedures. They’ll access the data they need however they can; often bypassing VPNs to access cloud services or grabbing hotspots wherever they can—secured or not. This do-it-yourself attitude can lead to risky activities beyond your control, such as employees downloading software on their own.

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