Employee on video conference showing remote work and enterprise technology management

Securing Your IT Estate in a Remote Work Environment

Remote and hybrid work business models are being adopted by organizations at an exponential rate. Initially, because of the need to ‘keep the lights on’ during the pandemic; this trend continues to generate questions and complexities for IT teams today.

IT leaders are proactively looking to maintain full visibility and manage risks within their IT portfolio. In fact, as of 2022, the Managing Enterprise Technology BlindSpots survey conducted by Gatepoint Research found that 71% of IT leaders expressed increased risk of security breaches and associated costs while deploying siloed technology. And it’s expected that over 70% of departments will have remote workers by 2028, which leads to organizations being susceptible to greater security threats. Phishing emails, email attachments, malicious websites and software with known vulnerabilities that have not been patched or upgraded, are some of the most common ways attackers target remote and hybrid workers.

In this context, CIOs and CISOs must go beyond traditional asset management practices that help navigate the influx of technologies being adopted while providing real-time, full visibility of their IT infrastructure and protection of valuable assets. Modernizing this approach provides a holistic strategy to mitigate some of the biggest threats and complexities leaders are facing today.

Effects of digital transformation

In the midst of a new wave of digital transformation, organizations need to find ways to support their employees, increase productivity, improve processes, and reduce risk to address the rise of remote and hybrid environments. All of which come at a time when the adoption of digital tools is at an all-time high, with a quarter of enterprises using more than 100 SaaS applications and 15% using more than 200 SaaS applications.

The rapid and presumably permanent rise in remote work requires near-real-time IT management while simultaneously increasing connection and decreasing the exposure to the attack surface.

Opting for a resource such as Enterprise Technology Management (ETM) enables firms to securely achieve greater business agility, enabling automated lifecycle management, and helping to reduce IT and project costs. Through three key pillars, ETM addresses some of the complexities of today’s technology management, asset visibility, employee access control, and compliance and audit readiness.

Increased asset visibility

For most organizations, transitioning to either a remote or hybrid work environment has caused numerous issues, including not being able to gain a holistic view of all technology assets. When the societal standard was for everyone to be in an office, analyzing the IT infrastructure was considerably more predictable and manageable. With everyone spread out working in decentralized locations, gaining a comprehensive view of IT assets becomes more difficult, something that also allows for more risks with the potential attack surface increasing significantly.

Organizations today need a single, integrated, and real-time source of truth that provides them with full lifecycle management of all assets, from the desktop to the data center to the cloud. After all, we cannot manage what we cant see.

Employee access control

Creating a holistic view of each employee’s IT requirements supplements an effective digital employee experience. Once all IT assets have been integrated, various views of employee information about each of their devices can be retrieved at the individual or department level, or by function, seniority, and location. Additionally, implementing access controls allows proper users to login to authorized systems, applications, and have access to the correct corporate data. Access Controls also helps new employees gain the appropriate authorizations and workflows faster and enhances productivity from the start.

Access control, which is often handled by single sign-on (SSO) or other access mechanisms, also requires layering. Typically, the levels of access granted to the appropriate individual can aid in gaining access to automated downstream systems. Managing who has access to what resources involves managing workflows, which tend to result in a large amount of data. It is critical to capture asset data as it enters the product lifecycle, as you need to certify and track technology as it enters the corporate ecosystem. This not only helps in managing security (who is using what and where), but also what systems they are authorized to access.

Compliance and audit readiness

Compliance concerns arising from non-traditional and modern work environments present numerous challenges for organizations and employees. Current regulations, like many aspects of IT technology management, have become increasingly complex over the years. They are ever-changing and can be very costly.

Compliance audits have become more frequent because of an evolving legal and regulatory environment. The financial and legal consequences have also shifted drastically. Historically, companies undergoing audits have required multiple full-time employees and outside consultants to provide a view of their assets, a very manual-intensive task.

Automating IT compliance processes using ETM provides numerous benefits to enterprises. Cost reduction, improved accuracy and recency of compliance data, and making the compliance process more agile, adaptable, and repeatable are a few examples.

ETM: A way of the future

The sophisticated, modern approach of Enterprise Technology Management enables businesses to simplify IT processes involving different types of technologies, including software and hardware, while addressing major pain points IT departments face today, including visibility concerns, lifecycle management, and employee experience.

Remote and hybrid work models are being adopted at an exponential rate. ETM addresses some of the complexities of today's technology management, asset visibility, employee access control, and compliance and audit readiness. #cybersecurity #respectdataClick to Tweet

The advantages ETM offers to improve corporate operations in a remote and hybrid work environment are unprecedented, and many more organizations should look to go beyond traditional methods to secure their IT infrastructure. Moving forward, ETM will be the key component to the success of IT teams functioning in any industry.