Woman working on her laptop near hotel window showing managing risk in the digital era
Managing Risk in the Digital Era: Focus on Your People by Peter Lefkowitz, Chief Privacy and Digital Risk Officer at Citrix

Managing Risk in the Digital Era: Focus on Your People

Last month at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos-Kloster, Switzerland, world leaders met to discuss how modern technologies will continue to transform the way people work as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes shape. Security was at the top of the executive agenda, from border walls to firewalls and from critical infrastructure to social media. There was widespread recognition that the globalization of the modern enterprise has resulted in regular sharing of company data from different locations, networks and devices. While this has spurred greater workplace flexibility, it has opened new vulnerabilities and exposed organizations to a range of new threats.

Recognizing that traditional user experience and security models no longer suffice, savvy IT and security teams have started to adapt to the new user experience and to employ technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to forge new models to attack risks. These new workplace computing models are based on a few fundamental realities of the modern workplace:

Create a superior digital experience

A company is only as good as the people it keeps. They ideate and innovate, explore and expand boundaries.  But talented employees want to work when and where they want to work. They expect the same easy and personal experience in the office that they have at home. And they don’t want to be hemmed in by the limitations of corporate technology.

To meet this challenge, companies can create intelligent digital workspaces that:

  • Give employees flexible access to the apps and insights they need in a single location.
  • Leverage simplified workflows to organize work and guide employees through their day, automatically serving up tasks without the need to open multiple applications.
  • Securely aggregate and automate access to applications and data from an increasing number and variety of sources, both on-premises and in the cloud.

By enabling these secure and flexible workspaces, companies can create a superior employee experience without sacrificing security.

Focus on people

Traditionally, companies focused their security efforts on locking down devices and internal networks. But as employees demand greater flexibility and choice in when, where and how they work, organizations are recognizing the need for a new approach that’s focused on people and understanding their behavior. And so they’re implementing intelligent security solutions that leverage AI and machine learning to analyze metadata around how their employees work. This includes evaluating how, when and from where employees typically access the network; how much they typically download; and what enterprise apps they use most frequently.

When an anomaly or risky behavior is detected, IT can automatically apply contextually-appropriate security measures, ranging from requiring a second-layer of authentication when logging in from a new device to turning off features such as the ability to download or print when accessing from a foreign network and blocking access to select (or all) apps after multiple failed log-in attempts or access from a dangerous location.

In rethinking security and enacting people-focused policies in a contextual and transparent way without getting in the way, companies can create a flexible, secure environment and superior employee experience that enables them to unlock innovation, engage customers and move their business forward.