With hybrid models increasingly becoming the future of work, CISOs should understand and follow the best practices to strengthen the cybersecurity infrastructure.
As remote work has become a new norm for many organizations, CIOs and CISOs are seeking to set up hybrid workplaces for the near future. This means they also need to rethink their traditional cybersecurity models to effectively protect employees operating both on-premises and work-from-home models. Since organizations allowed some degree of flexibility even before the pandemic forced remote work model, it seems that supporting a hybrid workforce model wouldn’t require many changes. However, the reality is far from it.
Today, organizations cannot classify their employees as entirely or mostly remote. They both need secure access to resources whether they’re working remotely or at the premises. For a seamless transition, organizations shouldn’t create models that will require their employees to follow different processes to log in depending on their location. There should be a single, integrated security policy for all the employees for accessing various systems and data. Here are a few best practices that CISOs should adopt that will enable organizations to secure and strengthen their hybrid workplace model:
Accessing resources without many hurdles has been a challenge a lot of employees faced during the onset of the pandemic. While taking utmost security measures is critical in securing the data and infrastructure, it can potentially hamper the business operations if employees continue to struggle to access resources. By implementing an integrated approach to security such as zero-trust, CISOs can make access more seamless for their employees.
Incorporating software-defined perimeter security/ zero trust network access
One of the key components of the NIST zero-trust architecture is software-defined perimeter (SDP), which provides employees with access to devices whether at home or on-premises. It can also assist the security teams in eliminating hard-to-manage VPNs while providing a consistent process for users to access resources, regardless of the location of either process.
Additionally, it also helps organizations to abandon network-based security approaches such as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) while providing them with zero-trust tools under the SASE moniker. Integrating an SDP/ZTNA is a critical step that organizations can take while building a zero-trust architecture.
Strengthening endpoint security
While endpoint security is critical for securing the enterprise infrastructure, the advent of zero-trust makes securing the endpoint even more critical. An identity-based architecture enables users to access all permitted resources. On the other hand, if the system or devices they are operating are compromised, there’s a higher chance that it may compromise all the resources associated with it. Therefore, CISOs should ensure they take extra precautions to strengthen their endpoint security. They should acknowledge endpoint diversity and their needs, implement MFA and consider endpoint-based data loss prevention (DLP).
Also Read: Creating an Effective Incident-Response Plan
Securing collaboration tools
Collaboration tools have played a key role in making remote work a successful model. It has enabled the teams to collaborate seamlessly as they do in an on-premise environment. But the popularity of these isn’t guaranteed to have sufficient security in place. These tools aren’t integrated, meaning that they have a fragmented cybersecurity policy, one of the most critical concerns of today’s enterprises. Therefore, CISOs should assess a range of collaboration security tools and platforms to identify vulnerabilities and take necessary measures to meet the objectives.
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