Working from home is a new, and likely persisting, reality for many people logging on from around the world. According to a 451 Research report on the impact of COVID-19 on enterprise security, 38% of enterprise leaders believe that working remotely will become permanent for some companies and a long-term situation for most others. Within this dispersed work environment, enterprise security has never been more important—or, arguably, more challenging—to get right.
The Role of IT Support in Enterprise Security for WFH
Whether companies have in-house IT support teams or they decide to outsource the function, there’s immense value in delivering 24/7 service capabilities as people set up shop from couches, living rooms and dining tables. Companies looking to remain operational and competitive during the pandemic should make IT services available to all employees. Teams working to address remote IT issues and help employees access enterprise resources must revolve around efficiency, flexibility and security.
In adapting to new realities, IT leaders should take into account the enterprise’s increased reliance on third party cloud, web hosting and SaaS platforms that each require a shift in security protocols. The main reason: companies employing enterprise platforms must make resources available to remote workforces who might need to access them from anywhere in the world. That fact alone opens enterprise networks and platforms to security threats from equally dispersed corners of the globe.
As 451 Research puts it: “Organizations that must rely on the skills and diligence of individual users are at a clear disadvantage in keeping these endpoints protected against exploits.” Companies should prioritize outfitting employees possessing varying levels of tech savviness with enterprise security best practices and tutorials. The IT department—specifically, people tasked with helping employees address IT issues under regular conditions—should shift immediate-term focus to education around the enterprise security perils of remote operations.
The Bottom Line
A line from 451 Research’s COVID-19 report hits the universal issue on the head: “Increased reliance on third-party cloud, hosted services and SaaS means that enterprise users can access these resources from anywhere—and these resources can be found virtually everywhere.” People are signing on from home wifi networks and video conferencing platforms that may have security vulnerabilities. Executives are forced to share proprietary and sensitive information from off-premises. Whether or not people will enlist virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), virtual private networks (VPNs), password managers and other individual measures remains to be seen.
Amid the uncertainty, tragedy and chaos, it’s clear that the pandemic has brought on a global reshaping of how business gets done and people work. A crucial element that can get lost in the shuffle is that the nature of enterprise security has changed as well. Consequently, IT leaders and support professionals need to step up and help workforces secure remote networks, platforms and services from afar to keep people safe in more ways than one.
Interested in learning more about how Contegix works with clients to improve enterprise security, power remote work and strengthen solution infrastructure? Check out our video.