Hybrid Work Requires More Than Collaboration Tools

 In Security, Workplace

When we’ve talked about the tools needed to support remote and hybrid work before, we addressed it from the perspective of the tools the remote and hybrid workers need. Those are tools for project management, collaboration, messaging. But there’s other software, invisible to end users, needed to make remote and hybrid work safe: mobile device management software, cloud access security brokers, and backup software.

There are two main reasons to rethink your approach to mobile device management and to data protection in this new world of remote and hybrid work:

1. Company data lacking company data protection.

Employees working remotely create documents on their laptops, mobile devices, and home computers. Without a strategic approach, these documents are inaccessible to everyone except their creator and unprotected against loss due to device failure or a security incident. In addition, employees working remotely are more likely to make use of shadow IT, such as unapproved cloud file sharing services.

2. More use of Software as a Service.

Because employees are so widely distributed in a hybrid work environment, there’s increased use of SaaS to make it easy for employees to have access to data. Relying on the SaaS vendor to backup SaaS data isn’t enough. To maintain ownership of data and ensure it’s properly protected and archived, businesses need to implement their own SaaS disaster recovery strategy.

What should businesses do to address these concerns?

1. Consider using a mobile device management (MDM) solution.

Mobile and remote device management software allows businesses to control how users access the corporate network and applications. MDM software lets businesses enforce good security controls on user-owned devices, such as passwords and lock screens, as well as blocking devices with out of date operating systems.

2. Consider using a cloud access security broker (CASB).

CASBs ensure that documents in the cloud are only accessed by authorized users and prevent documents from being shared inappropriately. In addition, CASBs can detect usage of unapproved cloud services, allowing businesses to stop employee use of unsafe shadow IT.

3. Review your backup strategy.

Assess whether business documents on employee devices need to be integrated into your backup strategy. Also consider implementing a SaaS backup solution to ensure comprehensive protection of that data. Make sure data created by remote workers meets archiving, retention, and other compliance requirements.

What else should you think about when your business relies on hybrid or remote work?

Download our list of 7 Questions to Check If Your Information Technology Is Optimized for Hybrid Work or contact Prescient Solutions to learn more about implementing an effective hybrid work environment.

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