How to protect, connect and enable your hybrid workforce
Hybrid working has arrived, and it’s here to stay. What’s important now is keeping up momentum with your technology, so that you can stay protected against evolving threats, while keeping your people connected and working effectively.
You need to know that you’re making the right improvements in the right areas, so that your employees can work securely and seamlessly without needing regular intervention by IT teams. And on top of this, your protections need to span across disparate, hybrid workplaces.
Here are three areas to consider to create better, more secure experiences for your hybrid workforce.
Provide consistent security that follows the person
The cost of a data breach is rising – 2021 had the highest average cost in 17 years, reaching $4.24m.1 There has never been a better time to understand where you can refine and consolidate your security infrastructure for stronger, more consistent protection.
“Our user communities are all easily induced to click on things and invite malware onto their devices. Just a bit of social engineering through fear, curiosity or misplaced trust will often result in a click. Click Happens enables our customers to stay connected, protected and productive by eliminating the risk for when click happens.” - Michelle Andrews, HP Security Specialist – EMEA
“Protect everything via integrations. Ensure you safeguard the entire organisation with integrated security, compliance and identity solutions where possible. Consider how you can consolidate solutions so they’re easier to manage and implement – close any security gaps that malicious actors could exploit. Consider using solutions that are built to work across both your on-premise platforms and cloud environments.” - Julie McGourty, Cloud Solutions Architect, Microsoft
The strongest security stays with every device. That means each employee will be protected at every touchpoint – which is particularly important as endpoints can represent a vulnerability for a business.
“Make Zero Trust your default position. With cloud architectures removing the concept of a secure perimeter around an organisation’s data and IT, Zero Trust becomes important. A Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution makes an immediate difference to the level of security inherent within a traditional network or cloud architecture and should be considered fundamental as organisations further migrate into a cloud-first world.” - Yaroslav Rosomakho, Global Solutions Architect
Across all workspaces, you need to be able to track and manage devices, and detect and respond to any security incident to keep people and data protected.
As security needs evolve, it’s more important than ever to have an integrated security ecosystem with technology that works together and keeps on-premises and remote employees protected through a single security stack.
“Threats have changed over the years and so have the targets. It’s not just your perimeter that is at risk, it’s your customers, your supply chain, employees and business reputation that could be tarnished with just one breach. Increasingly its vital to have an integrated approach to IT security so threat data can be shared at speed across your security infrastructure and prevent attacks.” - Geoff Swaine, VP, Global Programs, Store and Tech Alliances – EMEA
“Organisations have been challenged with providing remote solutions, at scale, on short notice. IT teams required to maintain business continuity across different locations should focus on: 1. Maintain productivity across home and office working. 2. Provide seamless access to all applications required daily. 3. Ensure all work-related mobile devices have secure, direct connectivity to the internet, rather than via an indirect private network.” - Mike Beevor, Practice Build Consultant for UKIMEA, Zscaler
Deliver effective access to applications in any location
Employees don’t expect to be held up by their technology. They expect the sort of connectivity that lets them perform without interruption, no matter where they are or what they’re working on.
In the office, on the go, or at home, you need to give people the right network and internet access to securely connect to the apps, data and services required to do their jobs effectively.
The experience of your employees is crucial, so you’ll need to make sure you’ve deployed the right technology behind the scenes. Do you have the capabilities to predict or prevent poor user experiences? You might, for example, be confident about application access in the office, but how does that translate for your offsite employees?
Make sure you can monitor and understand whether there are any issues with application performance or access across locations. It’s all about connecting your digital workspaces to enable productivity for everyone.
“Recent events have changed how we work. How do you keep employees connected and productive from home, and safe when returning to the office? Your network is the key to success. Enable your future workplace by connecting digital workplaces and protecting your people through a cloud-managed network.” - Simon Wilson, CTO, HPE Aruba
“Hybrid working is about providing a world class experience regardless of location. Gaining visibility of performance or security alerts before they become incidents is key to enabling teams to rapidly respond and remediate. The evolution of operations teams and their processes is the difference between the good and the great hybrid working organisations.” - Graeme Stewart, Security Sales Director – UKI, Cisco
Build awareness around new threats and technology
We’re entering a new future. As threats and working trends evolve, it’s important that you consider continuous improvements to make sure your security investments are as durable as possible.
Things are always changing, and your employees are at the front line of your business. Are they equipped with the knowledge to appropriately identify and respond to breach attempts or social engineering threats?
People need to be empowered to work in a way that’s secure, productive and aligned to the company culture. Inside and outside the office, technology choices should enable people to minimise risk, while also being quick and easy to adopt.
It’s important that you regularly review your current security tools and environments, and drive greater awareness of new threats and technologies around your teams.
“Everybody is busy. Providing short and engaging training content on a regular basis allows employees to learn a few tricks while not detracting from their daily work. An engaged employee will become a security minded and conscious employee.” - Julie Jolibois, Technical Consultant, Mimecast
Protect, connect and enable your hybrid workforce with Softcat
You’re challenged with balancing board-level expectations with creating infrastructure efficiencies, identifying breaches and making sure your hybrid teams are using technology effectively. With Softcat, creating this perfect balance means taking a personal approach that’s realistic and relevant to your business.
Managing all these expectations can add pressure to your IT teams. Softcat managed services can help bridge the security skills and resources gap with dedicated expertise to detect, monitor and contain incidents. You’ll benefit from ongoing management of your security posture, helping to free up your resources and stay protected around the clock.
And with services like security baseline assessments and voice of the user, Softcat assessments allow you to understand where you are now and prioritise what’s next.
We can help you stay secure, confident and productive.
Ready for the future?
Embrace a secure hybrid world. Contact your Account Manager to find out more about your next steps in cyber security.
Want to better understand your current security posture? Try our short self-assessment tool, which can reveal some of the most appropriate ways for your business to strengthen its security.
1 IBM (2021) How much does a data breach cost?