Workspaces have evolved rapidly in the past 18 months, with new, distributed workflows accelerated by the pandemic and the need for remote working. These workspaces need to accommodate an increasing number of digital natives that expect always-on, instant connectivity and are defined by the need for agile, adaptable business practices.
Creating a unified digital workplace, regardless of physical location, has become a critical task. A recent Gartner survey estimates that remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021.
As a result, CISOs must implement secure remote-work strategies and balance continued customer engagement and employee productivity with resilience against cyberattacks.
The weaknesses in digital workspaces
“The digital workspace ecosystem is expanding with a growing number of different applications dedicated to supporting remote work, such as virtual assistant technology,” comments Toby Alcock, Logicalis Group CTO. “Ensuring the security of the entire ecosystem is becoming an increasingly complex task as the technology stack shifts, expands and evolves.”
Without the security protections that traditional office systems grant employees, such as firewalls and blacklisted IP addresses, and with employees often tending to mix and match their own equipment with company-issued hardware and devices, the digital workspace needs a different approach to security.
71% of IT professionals recently surveyed said they have seen an increase in security threats since the coronavirus outbreak started. And 47% said they were concerned about employees working from home using shadow IT solutions. Meanwhile, more than a third of organisations worldwide experienced a ransomware attack or breach that blocked access to systems or data in the last 12 months.
As a result, CISOs are having to rethink how they manage risk across their distributed workspaces, following the shift to remote working.
Learning to live with remote working
Primarily, developing a flexible infrastructure, which can handle the demands of a remote workforce and the increasing cyber risks, is essential for any business in the digital economy. The 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report concluded that 85% of data breaches involve human interaction, often because of the demands of the new digital workplace. Internal IT teams are already stretched thin and help desk tickets have risen significantly due to remote working. But simply hiring more staff isn’t the answer.
Attracting the skilled experts necessary to manage these evolving risks is difficult, especially in the wake of a war for talent and shortage of digital skills. Partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) with security expertise can help. MSPs have an arsenal of dedicated security employees hired specifically for their knowledge and can remove the challenges of attempting to hire someone internally. Simultaneously, they can offer advice, guidance, and support to best mitigate security challenges.
By leaning on the experience of an MSP with security expertise, CISOs ensure an optimised solution that keeps pace with rapidly changing real-world demands, as well as release the increased pressure on internal resources for other critical projects that better drive business growth and digital transformation.
“Balancing all differing strategic elements without impacting the overall efficiency of the business or negatively impacting employee satisfaction is a growing challenge for CISOs. However, with the support of a trusted specialist MSP that can manage security, companies can stop risks before they happen. Not only can businesses increase productivity and satisfaction of their employees, but they can also rest assured knowing that their data is safe and secure in an optimised infrastructure model mapped to their unique business needs,” states Alcock.
Logicalis has helped organisations around the world successfully deploy and secure digital workspaces, ensuring they are protected whilst allowing employees the flexibility to access the tools they need—any time, from any location and using any device.
A national healthcare system, dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses, was looking to reduce their data centre footprint and migrate at-risk workloads. They wanted to take a cloud-first approach but lacked confidence with their existing environment. Logicalis was able to help them evaluate, strategise, pilot and execute a plan with confidence with Production Ready Cloud. Following a successful pilot of low-risk, non-clinical workloads, Logicalis will begin to move more mission-critical clinical workloads across to their new cloud environment with extended security support. The project is still underway but the healthcare systems organisation now has a secure and reliable cloud environment and can focus on transforming its research into new treatments to save lives.
By partnering with an MSP with security expertise, CISOs will not simply better protect their operations and company data. An MSP offers CISOs a method to future-proof their security strategy by leveraging the ongoing innovation of creative solutions and services that MSPs are constantly delivering to remain one step ahead of the threats. While the MSPs thwart the threats, CISOs can focus more on driving better business outcomes keeping them one step ahead of the competition.
For more information about how Logicalis can help strengthen your businesses cybersecurity strategy, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org