The shift to hybrid work was already in motion before the pandemic, with employers increasingly embracing the appeal of work-life balance for attracting the best talent. The pandemic simply accelerated the move, and now most companies consider it a given that hybrid work is here to stay.
But with employees requiring a consistent level of access to company assets, as well as consistency in areas like network security and performance, IT leaders must consider how to best support work productivity across all locations.
The hybrid aspect of managing security is only one piece of the complexity challenging IT leaders. From cloud performance demands to dynamic network routing and ongoing changes in cyber security threats, research from IBM says that companies today report an average of 45 different security tools being used. These are from a variety of providers and require a high level of coordination to mitigate any security issues. Add in unsecured home networks, and IT security becomes riddled with obstacles including poor control and visibility as well as potential gaps in security.
To address these challenges, IT leaders can implement some cyber security strategies:
Choose Integration: Security teams should approach security with a holistic mindset, avoiding incremental applications of individual security tools. No matter how great any specific security tool is, if it doesn’t collect and share information for the purpose of leveraging threat intelligence to automate responses, it’s likely not going to offer any measurable benefit. Point solutions never provide the control, visibility, and responsiveness that an integrated platform designed to work as an integrated solution can offer. When you add in the centralized management that a single console offers, only an integrated solution makes sense.
Consolidate if Possible: To take things a step forward from integration, consider consolidating networking and security into a single platform. This delivers a number of benefits, including the ability to scale and adapt as the company grows and changes its network, improving performance along the way. This generally entails implementing software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and a firewall able to support a wide range of security features. Consolidation allows for improved ease of management, better visibility, and granular control.
Go Zero Trust: Zero-trust network access (ZTNA) is an approach that is gaining momentum as business owners embrace the idea that it’s better to assume that no device or user can be trusted, rather than the assumption that everything is trustworthy unless proven otherwise. With the highly dynamic and highly distributed network, it no longer makes sense to assume that users or devices are trustworthy.
Zero trust uses tools like multi-factor authentication and role-based resource access to ensure that people and devices have the ability to utilize what they need, but never what they don’t.
If your approach to IT security has had an add-as-you-go approach, hybrid work may be quickly showing the cracks in this strategy. Contact us at ITBroker.com to learn more about how to apply security strategies in an integrated, consolidated strategy to ensure the highest possible performance with the least cyber security risk.