Less than a year ago regular home working was a perk enjoyed by just 5% of the UK’s 32.6 million workforce. Now, due to Covid-19, remote working is no longer a perk, it’s an essential ingredient in business continuity.
Fifty of the UK’s biggest employers have said they have no plans to return all staff to the office yet and the Bank of England’s executive director for financial stability recently said social distancing guidelines meant there would be no “sharp return…to dense office environments” for the foreseeable future.
The challenge for IT teams has been refocusing their cybersecurity efforts from office-based networks and devices to cloud-based remote solutions which rely on employees’ domestic internet connections and personal devices.
At the start of lockdown, switching IT focus was typically done at speed with continuity the goal, rather than market-leading cyber security.
Now, however, IT teams are having to ensure long-term, mass remote working can be achieved safely.
New and emerging digital technology
It isn’t just that more employees are working offsite. There is also an unprecedented reliance on new and emerging digital technology which employees are using to connect, collaborate and remain productive while out of the office.
Video conferencing and messaging platforms such as Cisco Webex have kept operations running for businesses of all sizes and sectors. Data from Ofcom reveals, for example, more than seven-in-ten UK workers are now making video calls at least weekly – up 35% from pre-lockdown.
This increased level of employee connectivity comes with increased risk. The more employees remotely access resources on their corporate network, the more they use cloud-based software and the more they use unprotected personal devices, the greater the vulnerability. Now, more than ever, organisations need greater visibility of their remote worker’s activity when they are working from home – what are their employees doing, what websites are they accessing and what devices are they using? The most effective cybersecurity solutions create a secure and visible connection between the home worker and the corporate resources they use.
Building a secure foundation for growth
Widespread home working has transformed and dramatically increased organisations’ so-called ‘attack surface’. But organisations that can effectively and confidently secure their networks are then free to grow their businesses, increase productivity, capitalise on flexible working opportunities and give all their employees the high-quality IT user experience they need.
The big challenge is ensuring IT teams have sufficient expertise, resources and personnel to protect their networks 24/7, 365 days a year from an ever-changing and increasingly complex adversary.
This is where investing in a managed cybersecurity service pays dividends. A managed security service enables you to confidently outsource the job of protecting your networks, safe in the knowledge that you’re getting a cost-effective solution and freeing up your IT teams to innovate.
A market-leading managed security services provider (MSSP) such as Axonex, can implement a wide range of cybersecurity measures designed to enable your employees to safely access your network from home. These measures range from establishing secure VPNs, to managing firewalls and much more.
For example an MSSP can monitor remote network access and activity, collecting, analysing and logging all activity across your entire IT infrastructure. It can also:
- Identify and remediate threats on the corporate network
- Secure connections from all devices and locations
- Increase visibility of user activity
- And respond to incidents as they occur.
MSSPs’ detailed cybersecurity knowledge
Covid-19 and the dramatic switch to remote working has transformed the technology landscape almost overnight. Understanding how to build robust security infrastructure in this rapidly evolving environment is an uphill battle and requires teams to continually invest in new skills, technology and resources.
An in-house IT team may have little or no experience of installing, calibrating and running the cybersecurity solutions needed in the ‘new normal’. A market-leading MSSP such as Axonex, however, will have detailed experience having partnered with clients to understand how they operate, their objectives and manage their cybersecurity requirements accordingly.
Other benefits of partnering with an MSSP include reduced costs thanks to economies of scale, access to unique cybersecurity expertise and tools and improved scalability, so you can be sure of extra support in times of need.
A market-leading MSSP, such as Axonex, will focus all its efforts on investing in the skills and technology needed to defeat the cybersecurity threats organisations are likely to face from increased home working. It will also leverage its links with vendors to ensure its partners benefit from the latest and best cybersecurity technology. An MSSP can also guarantee technical support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – something organisations may struggle to achieve with a smaller in-house team.
At a time of great uncertainty and increasingly complex threats it pays for organisations of all sizes to build meaningful partnerships with experienced cybersecurity providers. The organisations that can secure their networks as part of a holistic business strategy will be able to empower their employees, unlock productivity, foster collaboration and even confidently grow their businesses during these challenging times.