Oct 23 2020

The 3 Biggest Remote Work Security Priorities That Matter to IT Teams

Many IT shops got a big shock to their on-premises systems after the pandemic hit. A cloud security strategy can help but requires a new toolkit.

At the beginning of the pandemic, companies largely built around on-premises technology found their infrastructure could not support the sudden demand for remote work.

Months later, the state of the working world now requires strategies for maintaining a distributed workplace as well as for potential reopening. This need for flexibility has led to a strengthened interest in the cloud, but organizations considering a move must keep security in mind.

1. Think About a Cloud Infrastructure Transition

To fully realize the benefits of the cloud, organizations need to keep an eye on security from the beginning of their journeys. In a recent roundtable discussion, CDW Cybersecurity Practice Lead Ziyad Roumaya noted that many customers struggled during the beginning phases of remote work, in part because of on-premises solutions that proved difficult to scale during a pandemic.

“A lot of vendors are moving firewall solutions into the cloud, giving our customers the ability to scale on demand, which is great,” he said. “No need to rip and replace hardware anymore.”

Jeff Falcon, also a cybersecurity practice lead with CDW, added that it’s important to meet customers’ needs as they adapt to the cloud.

“The storyline behind this is identifying where customers are on their cloud journeys,” he said. Whether our customers are on-prem, if they’re on their journey to the cloud or they’ve landed in the cloud or some type of hybrid in between, we’re here to support them.”

2. Focus on Zero-Trust Security Strategies

During the initial transition, there was a growing need for IT departments to look closely at zero-trust security, a term that Roumaya explained can mean many different things.

“A lot of our customers just have the very basics that start at the beginning of the zero-trust world,” he said. “I think they should start looking at zero-trust assessments to help get themselves prepared and ready for the future.”

Jeremy Weiss, also a cybersecurity practice lead for CDW, added that zero trust, which operates under the assumption that any users on a network could be dangerous and must prove they can be trusted to gain access, is a best practice that organizations should be building toward.

Watch experts discuss what businesses should prioritize when it comes to security.

“If you’re looking at building up a framework, a lot of those tools are already in place,” Weiss said, citing adjacent examples such as single sign-on. “Let’s leverage those tools so that you can actually be more nimble for your business and your continuity plan.”

3. Embrace New Tools for Managing Cloud Security

As cloud computing changes the dynamic of managing an infrastructure, new strategies are required to keep everything in check.

Falcon pointed at a class of new tools in the cloud security posture management category, which Gartner has recommended that leaders in the security and risk management fields invest in to help manage their cloud security needs.

“These new emerging categories that sit in the capabilities of cloud security posture management become very important,” he said, adding that this is particularly true as organizations increase their cloud presence.

He cited examples including tools that highlight microservices being run in a given environment, the topology of the architecture, and configuration issues.

“These tools bring an important set of capabilities around visibility,” he said.

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