Hello, and welcome back to this next TomCast from GuardSight; we are a tactical cybersecurity-as-a-service organization dedicated to helping businesses protect their data, their assets, and their endpoints.

Today we are going to discuss a topic that has become more and more visible since the pandemic, and that is the remote workforce. I am not going to go into how to manage or lead a remote workforce; that will be discussed in a future TomCast. No, this discussion is going to center around some of the challenges and ways to mitigate those challenges when operating with a remote workforce.

While the pandemic was a while ago, it forced many organizations to become remote-friendly in a very rapid fashion. Some companies had already embraced this method of work while others had to scramble to determine how they were going to enable this functionality. No matter the organization involved, having everyone become remote came with its own technological and security challenges.

One obvious challenge that companies faced were “how do we make sure our people are actually getting the work done?” With the old ways of management some organizations still felt like they had to see their workforce to know work was being accomplished. Rapidly those in leadership positions shifted to a more task and mission focused mindset, understanding that if the tasks were being accomplished and the mission was being achieved, then the work is indeed being done.

Managing and leading workforces also become a challenge. We saw video teleconference options skyrocket at that time. GoTo meeting, WebEx, Zoom, Teams, and more had to expand and enhance their capabilities to support such a major shift in the industry. Personal connections between employees were now conducted over computer cameras versus at the water coolers.

Internet Service Providers were also scrambling to now meet the demands of homeowners, rental tenants, and others needing adequate internet access from residences that perhaps was not there before. Employees were trying to determine if they were even able to connect, how to connect, so a lot of different factors hit all at the same time.

For most listening to this, this is obviously not new information. This is all very well known. What may not be well known, however, are some of the security challenges that occurred and that still exist today. The most glaring security challenge was how to protect data that was now outside of the corporate boundary since the endpoints were no longer in the office.

Again, some organizations had already embraced more of the work-from-home culture and had moved to more enhanced endpoint detection and response architectures, but for others there were several question marks. How do we enable everyone to access organizational resources? How to we protect those connections, and how to we prevent data leakage? Virtual Private Networks, or VPN’s, were used or implemented, as was virtual infrastructures that permitted external users to use internal systems.

Jumping to today, are those still the ideal ways to deal with a remote workforce? While some have mandated a return to the office, some remain solely remote, and some are in a hybrid state, so the need for remote workforce management is still required. With that comes the ever growing need to protect the data, the assets, and the endpoints. New technologies emerged as more and more companies embraced not only remote workforces, but cloud computing architectures. Security mechanisms that had formerly been within the corporate brick and mortar buildings are now being offered as services to further protect cloud tenants. Firewall as a service, Cloud access security brokers, and more are out there and ready for use. Some cloud vendors have bundled many of these services into what is known as Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE for short.

The ever evolving landscape of the workforce necessitates an ever evolving security solution. As organizational boundaries are no longer confined to building A and building B, companies need to know how to keep user experience consistent, how to keep endpoints and edge devices protected, AND how to minimize data bottlenecks and maximize throughput so business can continue to progress.

Wondering how this impacts you and your organization? Well, reach out to the folks here at GuardSight! That is their business; they can help guide you through the options available to you. They are the tactical security experts, so don’t wait and overthink it, contact them sooner versus later. You will be glad you did.

We here at GuardSight thank you for taking the time to listen to this TomCast. For more information on various cybersecurity tips head on over to our website and check out more TomCasts. Those are located over on www.guardsight.com/tomcast. Or, if you would like more information on what GuardSight can do for you, head on over to www.guardsight.com and contact us. There are several free cybersecurity tools out there that can help you improve your overall security posture. We’d love to hear from you! Thanks!