Now that it has been about a year since millions began working from home, it is time to evaluate how the new normal is shaping the future of work.
It is no question that the benefits of remote work extend beyond necessity. Fewer meetings, no commute, and a more relaxed working environment are just a few of the many desirable features of working from home. Though we can enjoy these benefits, we cannot neglect the long-term implications, nor the need for a security posture adapted to a highly digitized world.
Remote work is here to stay.
The structure of the workforce is still shifting, and employers, technology, and security must be prepared to meet new demands. Even as lockdowns lift, many companies are moving toward a hybrid approach to work, having employees come into the office a few days a week and working remotely the rest of the time.
In March of 2021, 57% of Americans are currently working either partially or fully remote. This is a remarkable increase from the 7% that were remote before the pandemic began. Although this percentage is expected to drop, it is still going to be significantly higher than it was pre-Covid, at an estimated 40% at the end of 2021.
Because most employees prefer remote work, it is unsurprising that most employers expect a remote or hybrid environment to remain a constant in the workforce, even after Covid is no longer a factor. People are enjoying the flexibility, and in a vast majority of companies, remote work is getting better. Moving forward, the flexibility that remote work offers will likely be a common preference among job seekers. The most competitive employers will be able to meet this expectation while balancing other needs such as productivity, security, and cultivating relationships.
The fact that over half of U.S. employees can work remotely shows the importance of digitization. More innovation in work-related technology means that remote work will only become easier to manage over time. Reliance on digital services feeds the global economy, creating new opportunities as well as new risks.
It is time to start planning for the long-term reality.
As the business landscape changes, security changes with it. We are only a few months into 2021, and cyber criminals have shown they do not intend to ease up any time soon.
- Huge data breaches have been in the news for several months, affecting big brands like SolarWinds, Kroger, and Microsoft.
- The health industry, which has been continually hit hard by cybercrime in the past, has been dealing with even higher amounts of attacks since Covid started. Scammers have also jumped at the opportunity to exploit people’s fear of the virus.
- At least two laptops were stolen from the U.S Capitol during the January 6 riot.
- An employee at Stanford University was found to have stolen over 800 laptops in three years.
Remote work has its risks and rewards, and it is rewarding enough to continue playing a major role in employment. However, because of the lack of control over networks, physical security, and other areas, remote work introduces and amplifies security concerns.
In any work environment where confidential data resides on employees’ personal devices, companies must make security a priority. Data breaches and other attacks are more difficult to prevent and contain when there are more attack surfaces. These include insecure Wi-Fi, break-ins and theft, phishing, unauthorized access, and limited knowledge of threats. Businesses need to reduce these risks sooner rather than later to establish remote work as a viable long-term option. In addition to using a strong security solution, here are a few ways to improve security in a remote work setting:
- Explore mobile device management options
- Have a detailed risk management plan
- Create or update your BYOD policy
- Provide frequent training for employees
DriveStrike is a security solution that enables businesses to protect devices and the confidential data they contain. Especially in a remote work environment, devices are at risk of loss or theft and should be secured to prevent data breaches. Remote Wipe, Remote Lock, and Device Tracking are vital security features for any organization that handles digital data. DriveStrike offers advanced configuration for Android devices, as well as integrates BitLocker encryption for Windows machines.
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Each day brings new data security challenges, so your organization needs simple and wide-reaching solutions to combat those challenges. DriveStrike is here to help you protect your most critical data with premium quality endpoint security. Start a free trial with DriveStrike today, and contact us if you need any assistance. Our team is always ready to answer your questions.