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How remote working brings security challenges to corporations

How remote working brings security challenges to corporations

AnalysisEnterprise SecurityTop Stories

Lucas Pereira, Head of Products at Blockbit, explains the challenges remote working poses to enterprise cybersecurity. He highlights that tools such as firewalls and VPNs need to evolve and keep up with the mobility and fluidity that working remotely requires.

Lucas Pereira, Head of Products at Blockbit

When the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, the main focus of discussions was on what the post-pandemic world would look like with the new normal. Today, more than two years later, few things are as clear as the idea that we can work from anywhere.

Because of an increasingly digital and connected world, we are embracing the ‘anywhere office’ culture fast. It is not by chance. According to research by the consultancy Workana, almost 85% of leaders who have adopted the home office in their teams intend to maintain remote working, considering advantages such as agility and cost reduction, among other factors.

While allowing organizations to bring a series of potential opportunities, remote (or hybrid) work also brings challenges.

From a structural point of view, companies need to be able to guarantee access to the technologies necessary to support daily operations, maximizing the availability of resources and key data to maintain – or increase – the productivity of teams.

Another issue is the need to optimize the protection of employees’ access to information, keeping all records and fundamental strategies for the business safe.

It is a two-fold mission: on the one hand, to simplify people’s access to the platforms and systems that surround the work itself. On the other hand, to create mechanisms to make improper access as hard as possible, reinforcing the reach and power of the company’s cybersecurity initiatives – even though the physical boundaries have been overcome after this period of acceleration of Digital Transformation in companies.

It is the biggest challenge for companies in these new times. After all, we certainly will not regress after this period. On the contrary, studies by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) indicate that the movement that pushed millions to work from home will not cease after the end of the pandemic.

In a survey of more than 1,400 global professionals, MIT registered that 100% of respondents believe organizations should adopt a hybrid model, which mixes corporate workspaces and home offices.

Gartner numbers also go along the same perception. According to research by the consultancy, 48% of professionals will continue to work remotely at least part-time after the COVID-19 pandemic, with one in five people working remotely full time. From an organizational point of view, 75% of the companies surveyed plan to maintain or increase remote work actions in the future.

However, it is important to mention that hybrid work will no longer mean the home office itself. The expectation is that, as reality allows for better displacements, the workforce will become more mobile and decentralized, flowing through different spaces. It means that the networks used for the traffic of sensitive information may not be what they used to be – and that standard protections are no longer enough.

In other words, this means that traditional versions of tools such as firewalls and, especially, VPNs, also need to evolve to keep up with the mobility and fluidity that working outside the office demands. It is necessary to have a layer of digital security capable of guaranteeing access to crucial systems, even when the employee is on a public network or in a region outside the pre-established range or recognized by the systems.

How do we achieve this level of protection? The best tip is to bet on the most modern tools prepared for this scenario. It is also necessary to invest in knowledge about the needs and usage characteristics of the teams, understanding the different points of the operations.

For example, while many threats are global, the types of phishing triggers and lures can vary locally. That is why knowing the profiles of Brazilian users would be an opportunity to anticipate potential deviations and indicators of an attack. This ability is a differential that should not be disregarded, even more so today.

The ‘anywhere office’ will only really make sense when companies and people can be confident in moving their information around securely, and care is necessary for all places and situations.

With cybercrime evolving in sophistication and advancing in many ways, initiatives that offer greater mobility to teams must be reinforced with next-generation cybersecurity solutions and resources that allow using technology while threats and risks are mitigated.

There is no doubt that much has been done to accompany this digitalization, which has accelerated in the last two years. The good news is that there are innovations prepared to ensure connections more safely and smartly – and from anywhere. After all, this is what needs to be in the minds of leaders: more important than the space used is the certainty that what is important is being well protected.

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