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WFH security lessons from the pandemic

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A year ago, IT and cybersecurity teams faced a number of challenges — constantly emerging threats, data privacy regulations, and a significant and widening skills gap, to name a few. Then things really got difficult.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on business processes changed the security dynamic in a big way, making matters even more complex. Shifts to cloud services were accelerated. E-commerce efforts were launched or expanded. COVID-related cyberattacks became common.

But the most significant development was the sudden and massive shift to a remote workforce. Seemingly overnight, employees who’d formerly worked in offices began working from home, many relying on their own computing devices and makeshift network access methods, with IT departments scrambling to protect their devices and data.

As the pandemic enters its second year, it’s worth reviewing some of the security lessons we’ve learned so far and looking ahead at the techniques and technologies that will help protect the future hybrid workplace.

Enterprises should extend endpoint protection tools

For one thing, organizations have discovered that they need to extend the capabilities of their existing security infrastructures in ways they might not have considered before the work-from-home shift. That includes ensuring that corporate security practices and tools that fortify and defend a company’s perimeter can cover a broader range of geographic locations to account for home offices.

“Moving into a remote work environment has meant a change in focus from macro-level security to micro-level extensions of platforms and adoption of new ways of extending a secure environment to remote workers,” says Mark Liggett, CEO of Liggett Consulting and a longtime IT and cybersecurity consultant.

During the past year, the firm has advised companies on extending their endpoint protections and endpoint detection and response tools to their remote users. “This type of change might take negotiation with vendors to add additional licenses for remote users,” Liggett says.

“Some vendors include licensing by user ID rather than device, which can save time and money on deployment. In today’s environment, it is worth a review and pressing for the options that you need to accomplish a secure working environment anywhere,” advises Liggett.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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