Staying cyber secure when working from home

More and more companies are benefitting from home working. According to data from FlexJobs and Owl Labs, staff turnover in companies that offer remote working is 25% lower, 75% of remote workers report fewer distractions and 86% feel it reduces stress. 

And with remote server access, smartphone apps linked to workplace data and the rise of video conferencing, the number of remote workers is increasing. Since 2005, Global Workplace Analytics has reported a 140% increase in people working from home, and IBM predicts that by 2022 the global mobile workforce will reach 1.87 billion.

Organizations are already taking advantage of the flexibility offered by cloud storage, with 48% of all corporate data now being stored in the cloud (compared with 35% three years ago), according to Thales’ 2019 Global Cloud Security Study.

As workplace teams are becoming globalized, more employees are turning to video calling as a form of effective communication. Some 87% more people are using video conferences compared with two years ago. 

These technologies require a capable – and secure – network. At the moment, we rely on home WiFi and 4G to connect users. However, the rollout of 5G, with speeds reaching 10 gigabits per second – 100 times faster than on a 4G network – means employees at home will be able to access the cloud faster and benefit from video calls with virtually no lag and much improved quality.

Cyber security risks 

While technology is there, what about the security? Highly sensitive data is stored in an organization’s cloud, yet according to the Thales study, 70% of respondents find it more complex to manage privacy and data protection regulations in the cloud compared with on-premises. 
And according to a Deloitte survey, 68% of people use their personal smartphone for work. But using any personal device to access sensitive data increases the threat of a data breach, as some of that data will be stored precariously on the device. This could also result in some hefty fines under the GDPR or similar data protection regulations.

Secure remote-access solutions

By taking a zero- trust approach to security, businesses can keep their data secure as more employees access it remotely.

Encrypting data limits access to an authorized party who holds a key, and keeps data secure throughout its lifecycle. Tokenization replaces data with a surrogate value that preserves the length and format of the data. So, regardless of whether the data is at rest (inactive data that is stored physically, such as in databases, back-ups and on mobile devices) in motion (data that is flowing over a public or private network), or being backed up or copied, using encryptions and tokens keeps it protected. 

Cloud-based access management and authentication solutions, also known as Identity as a Service (IDaaS) solutions, enable secure access to cloud applications, enterprise networks and servers. IDaaS solutions integrate seamlessly with cloud services and VPNs. They protect applications and data at the access point, by enforcing the appropriate method of authentication and applying single-sign-on and conditional access, which means end users only have to authenticate when necessary. In this way, organizations can optimize security and convenience while protecting their on-premises networks and cloud applications. 

As more employees work from home, the need to enable secure and easy access to cloud services will increase. Organizations that can deploy secure remote access to cloud applications rapidly, while maintaining a familiar and easy login experience for their users, will be able to reap the benefits of mobilizing a secure and remote workforce.

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