Finding the Right Balance between Security and Productivity in a Hybrid Working Environment

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Finding the Right Balance between Security and Productivity in a-01

Regardless of where they choose to work, employees require technology that is unobtrusive, secure by design, and easy to use

Another pandemic was quietly spreading across the globe in early 2020, amidst the chaos. Cybercriminals reacted quickly to the rapidly changing environment around them, adapting their tools and techniques to exploit new weaknesses in corporate cybersecurity. Since then, global businesses have been dealing with the aftermath. However, malicious hackers aren’t the only danger. Many users are attempting to circumvent essential security restrictions in order to meet new user expectations for seamless remote working.

However, there is hope for a more productive and secure future. To get there, cybersecurity teams need to ensure that security is integrated into existing workflows and patterns as much as feasible. In order to accomplish this, technology that is secure by design, unobtrusive, and user-friendly is required.

Also Read: OT Security Risks of Taking R&R Approach

High-risk behavior

Cybersecurity is a facilitator. It enables people to live their digital lives securely, from online banking to encrypted communications. However, in the workplace, it is often viewed as a hindrance to productivity rather than a necessary safeguard. According to a 2021 HP Wolf Security research report “Rebellions and Rejections“, more than 34% of global workers believe cybersecurity is a burden.

At least part of this attitude could be attributed to a lack of awareness and overall disinterest in all things related to security. 39% of 18–24-year-old employees are unaware of their company’s data security policies. Around 54% indicated they are more concerned about meeting deadlines than risking a data breach. Meanwhile, nearly 64% said they received no additional training on how to secure their remote network.

The fact that this user apathy is translating into high-risk activity that can put innumerable enterprises in jeopardy is perhaps the most worrying aspect. Employees say security policies and technology are often overly restrictive, with 16% admitting to bypassing policies to get their work done faster, rising to 31% among younger workers.

IT Stuck in the Middle

Cybersecurity experts understand these new trends. After all, they are on the front lines of the on-going war to defend company IP and data every day. They can see the iceberg of a major security breach looming ahead of them, yet they feel unappreciated and unheard when they raise the alarm. In fact, the vast majority 91% felt compelled to compromise security in order to maintain business continuity.

As a result, most IT professionals feel torn between the necessity to protect their company from potentially catastrophic security breaches and the demands of users to create shortcuts.

Despite rising levels of cyber-risk, most are tired of being labelled as bad guys. Because of the large number of unsecured remote working devices and untrained users, the threat from ransomware is particularly serious nowadays.

Unfortunately, security teams across the world were under a lot of stress during the pandemic, which hampered their ability to do their jobs. The industry cannot afford to lose any more skilled professionals at a time when there are growing threats, chronic cyber-skills shortages, and declining policy compliance.

The Right Tools and Technology

Employees want easy-to-use security tools and fewer constraints, but cybersecurity teams must find a way to minimize the security burden and increase threat visibility. If left unchecked, this type of risk and conflict can be dangerous. So, how can businesses strike an acceptable balance between efficiency and security? The key is to make working securely as simple as working insecurely.

To avoid end-user circumvention, cybersecurity teams should adapt to the hybrid workplace and find new levels of endpoint protection based on zero-trust concepts that are as unobtrusive as possible. Nonintrusive security technologies embedded in the endpoint will go a long way toward improving user security while also safeguarding the enterprise

Also Read: Identity Sprawl: A Critical Obstacle to Controlling Cyber Threats

Security that is built-in rather than bolted on to all endpoint devices can deliver a more seamless and less restricted end-user experience. Organizations can then layer security services on top of it, such as those that can contain and isolate critical risks before they can cause any harm. Other tools can provide remote management for IT teams and the capacity to self-monitor and self-heal without the need for user engagement.

It all comes down to maximizing security while reducing user friction. As the world settles into the new era of hybrid working, this is the way to keep IT teams and end-users happy and productive.

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