Redesigning Digital Infrastructure To Support Remote Workforce

As organizations switch to a remote work situation, they cannot afford to rest on their laurels. They must secure their digital infrastructure in the wake of increasing cyber threats.

The current health crisis has driven organizations to shift to a remote-work model overnight. As a result, employees are having to merge personal technology with work devices. This immediate expansion of the attack surface has introduced new uncertainties and heightened cybersecurity risks for organizations. In addition to helping employees transition to a remote work model, security teams also have to contend with various COVID-19-related malware campaigns. These scams have cost victims in America a total of $13.4 million and the United Kingdom $1 million. In India, a surge in misinformation, fraudulent work-from-home opportunities and offers of fake testing kits for COVID-19 continue to make its rounds. As more employees work from home, they need to be mindful that clicking on phishing emails from their personal devices can introduce new threats and put the wider corporate network at risk.

Redesign a digital infrastructure to secure remote workforce

While many aspects of the COVID-19 response are certainly unprecedented, the global remote-work experiment has accelerated trends that already existed in the world of IT and remote workers are starting to appreciate its benefits. A survey by OnePoll in conjunction with GoTo by LogMeIn comprising 250 office workers from India, cite reduced commuting (75%), effectiveness for the environment (77%) and more time spent with family (57%) as some of the perks.

As remote work becomes the new normal, organizations need to ensure that its people, processes and technology are able to function securely with minimal interruption. Therefore, security teams need to revisit their security policies and redesign their digital infrastructure suitable for a remote workforce.

Following some of these tips can help organizations craft a robust remote-work security strategy.

Run IT operations like a service: Simplify, streamline and standardize the working experience for global employees or what devices they are using. Eliminate any technical barriers that impede employees from doing their jobs.

Prioritize off-premises solutions: Use resources such as cloud-based services to foster agility and enable employees to easily and securely access the apps and data they need without creating a bottleneck. These cloud-based services not only save costs but allows organizations to focus more resources on core business competencies.

Limit access to virtual private networks: Create separate VPNs (virtual private networks) for individual departments to facilitate access only to employees who need such data or resources.

Single sign-on (SSO) identity management facilitates ease of use and ongoing maintenance, while multifactor authentication provides a much-needed layer of additional security. 

Encourage adoption of collaborative systems: Distributed workforces require new tools that foster collaboration and communication in place of the social interactions that typically occur within a physical workplace. Organizations can consider software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions such as Google Docs, Slack and more. 

Partner with internal and external peers: Every department relies on an organization’s technical infrastructure, therefore it’s crucial for IT leaders to regularly communicate with relevant stakeholders to look for ways to improve productivity and security.

Keep abreast of new developments: Keep track of the evolving threat landscape to adapt and respond quickly.

As businesses continue to adapt to the new work order, it’s important to ensure that all CIOs and CISOs are equipped with the necessary tools and resources needed to enable large-scale remote work. IT teams and leaders must keep their workforces fully informed and aware of all evolving cyber threats in order to minimize the risk of damaging attacks.


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