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The Shift in the Modern Day Workplace

Business leaders are facing a new “Shift” when it comes to managing their customers and workforce. Regulations, guidelines and overall changes in how people interact are forcing a continually evolving new normal. Maybe the new normal is just survival.

The concepts of Remote Workforce Enablement, Business Continuity and Security & Compliance are not new, but due to the current environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic they are being pushed to the forefront as a matter of organizational survival. The “Shift” does not discriminate, so regardless if you’re a large enterprise, mid-market or small business, your organization has been impacted in some way.

Overnight, organizations had to move to almost a fully remote workforce. In many cases organizations were living their Business Continuity Plan in real-time.  Organizations are having to fundamentally make a “Shift” or take a new approach when it comes to IT Infrastructure, Applications, User Systems, and Support. Because of the shutdown of the traditional office environment, the concept of “Office in a Box” was created to provide a virtual desktop that could be securely accessed from anywhere.

Collaboration tools or platforms such as Microsoft Teams have become the portal to business operations. The ability to meet virtually, share screens, share files, and collaborate together on projects has shifted from the occasional meeting to essential, all-day communications.  New Policy & Procedures and Governance are being developed on the fly to address the on-going changes. Organizations saw a “Shift” with increased demand for users to leverage non-company assets such as their home computers to access company systems, applications and data. This created new dynamics that organizations must take into consideration. Due to the shift to remote or hybrid workforce, organizations are researching and implementing Zero Trust Framework, Multifactor Authentication (MFA), Single Sign-on (SSO), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), and Mobile Device Management (MDM) as “must have” required security components as opposed to something that formerly was an optional “nice to have.”

The “Shift” of on-premise software to the Cloud has gone from a steady stream of migrations before the pandemic to a tidal wave of a “must have now” software and services that organizations need to navigate and implement at lightning speed. Organizations are having to expand existing frameworks or create them where they didn’t even exist before.

The four security pillars of Identity & Access Management, Data Protection, End-Point Protection and Training/Education & Compliance have not changed. However, the ongoing struggle to provide flexibility and ease of access balanced with having the necessary controls in place to assure overall security is intensifying with the rapidly changing environment.

With this accelerated movement to the Cloud, Security & Compliance has become even more important and a focal point in conversations with executive leadership. People, process, and technology all play a part in the building of a strong security culture. Although not all companies have regulatory requirements around security, all organizations and people are impacted by security and associated risks.

It’s about people, process and technology, “but mostly people.”  Technology and good processes can help predict and mitigate risk and also provide the tools that people need to be more aware. However, people will always be the most important and most unpredictable part of the equation.  The “Shift” requires regular security education and training for our users who are potentially more susceptible to sophisticated security attacks.

With all of the “Shifts” occurring on many different fronts, one of the biggest challenges that business leaders are facing within organizations is the drastic change in the talent pool and the expertise needed to implement these new technologies and frameworks at the speed that is required. So, organizations are reviewing how best to bring existing resources up to speed, bring in new skillsets or to partner with organizations that can help them meet the demand.

The “Shift” is here, and change is not going to slow down; it is going to accelerate.  Organizations must prioritize implementation of these necessary services to secure and enable their remote workers if they want to survive.

Questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at 614-212-1111 or [email protected].