Under Pressure to Secure Remote Workers? Data Protection at Scale

Mark Rosenthal, Director of Client Strategy and Consulting Services

04.02.2020

 

Right now, around the world, corporations are facing unprecedented and extreme challenges. The global COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded with dramatic speed, and even organizations that have well-planned and well-tested business continuity plans are consumed in the execution of those plans. They are working day and night to:

  • Enable remote work and business operations
  • Support remote workers, especially those who may be working from home for the first time
  • Adapt systems and processes to keep business up and running

Good news:

The tools and experts you need right now are available—and ready to help.

Now It’s Obvious: The Data Security Perimeter Is Officially Gone

Organizations that have continued to rely on doing business with on-premises applications and VPN access to systems have quickly found those systems overwhelmed. Offsite users are now looking for ways to work outside that legacy network, and the job of data security has become exponentially more difficult.

For such organizations, the abrupt shifts caused by the global pandemic and the requirements of social distancing have finally shattered the illusion that a defensible perimeter exists around company and customer data.

However, for most organizations, work outside a defined perimeter has been a reality for some time. This latest crisis has simply amplified the challenges that Information Security leaders and their teams have been facing for a decade.

Spotlighting the Realities of Supporting and Securing Remote Workers

At the moment, companies are tackling the sheer volume of work involved in supporting remote workers. They have narrowed down their focus to only the most immediate priorities:

  • Network and communications: Can our existing systems handle the load of large numbers of people to remote work quickly?
  • Business applications: Can we enable people to access the internal and cloud applications they need to do their jobs?
  • Data protection: Is data secure—on premises, in the cloud, and in use by people at thousands of different endpoints?

Fortunately, the solutions to those IT and Information Security challenges have also been developing over the years and today, companies have access to proven, world-class cloud and data protection strategies founded on the integration of technology, people, and processes.

Technology providers such as Forcepoint, Broadcom (formerly Symantec), Microsoft, and Netskope have long had technology solutions built to support distributed enterprises. And those providers are stepping up to provide their proven solutions quickly, at scale, to organizations in need.

But technology is only part of the data protection solution. No matter how good your data loss prevention (DLP) tools are, the human component of data security remains critical.

Data protection tools deliver tremendous volumes of information and alerts to enable companies to respond to and head off security threats. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools can enable some sorting and categorization of that information. But at a fundamental level, human triage and analysis is needed to determine appropriate and timely responses.

  • Which alerts are false positives?
  • Which indicate a need for a policy change or adaptation?
  • And which are immediate and urgent threats?

Filling the Gap in the Human Component of Data Protection

The need for human direction of data protection programs is acute during the current crisis. But it’s not new. Organizations have been dealing with the problem for years as

  • The threat landscape grows increasingly dynamic
  • The need for cybersecurity expertise grows more specific
  • The cybersecurity skills gap grows wider

Managed data protection services are a practical solution—not just to support internal teams in crisis, but to enable them to thrive and be more effective over the long term.

The current situation is extreme. But the “new normal” that it has brought us is not really new—and it is likely to be normal for a very long time. Companies no longer operate within a perimeter. Now is the time to leverage the resources available to deal with your urgent challenges—and prepare for a brighter future.

We’re Here to Help

If your organization is looking for a proven, effective data protection strategy—and the support of seasoned cybersecurity experts—please reach out to us. Let’s talk about what you need today.