Technology proved to play a crucial role in business continuity and the success of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology solutions provider Cisco highlights how technology can make hybrid work setup work successfully.
When governments issued mobility restrictions, companies had to issue devices, acquire new digital tools, and broaden tech solutions subscriptions to prevent any downtime in business operations. Suddenly, video conferencing and other forms of digital communications have become the norm and organizations found out that they can indeed run the business remotely.
While these have become extremely useful, home networks have become the main targets of cybercriminals.
“We are used to working inside the office and security team (also) had it the easy way to just have to serve your organization you are in just one location,” explained Juan Huat Koo, director, Cybersecurity Sales, ASEAN at Cisco, during a media briefing in Cisco’s headquarters in Singapore. “But if we will look at it in today’s context, it is all very different.”
Respondents in the Cisco survey noted that 81% feel that cybersecurity is critical to making people in an organization feel safe and 37% feel that cybersecurity is a challenge having devices in different locations.
“The study shows that a lot of respondents said security is paramount,” Huat Koo said. “With 39% view that data privacy will be a key challenge in aggregate arrangements. Rightfully so, because organizations, especially those in sales possess many sensitive customer information.”
The Cisco report showed 77.6% of respondents said that cybersecurity is critical for making hybrid working safe, but less than two-thirds (64.9%) said their organization currently has the right capabilities and protocols in place. It should be a concern for companies that only 61.9% of respondents think that all employees across their company understand the cyber risks
involved with hybrid work, and only 67.5% think business leaders are familiar with the risks.
While companies and employees are using VPN (virtual private network), Cisco advises the use its Zero Trust Network (ZTN) where access to critical information is limited to a very few.
“Using our tool ensures secure connectivity to the (different) applications,” Huat Koo said. “But user experience should be the same, especially in the ease of use, among security teams and end-users.”
Cisco’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) combines networking and security functions in the cloud to deliver seamless, secure access to applications, anywhere users work. Its core functions include a software-defined wide area network, secure web gateway, firewall as a service, cloud access security broker, and Zero-Trust network access.
The SASE model aims to consolidate these functions in a single, integrated cloud service, so that even if employees are in different locations, information security is covered.
Cisco provides a checklist for organizations considering adopting SASE for a hybrid work setup:
- Uplevel your WAN with a cloud-scale architecture
- Streamline security in the cloud
- Simplify secure network access with Zero Trust
- Choose platform simplicity over piecemeal
- Realize SASE your way
Cisco survey on hybrid work setup provides a glimpse of how companies approach this new reality in the business operations environment. Cybersecurity is a primary concern to ensure that corporate data is protected from any breach.
“”For organizations to operate and grow a hybrid workforce with success, it is important that investment in the right technologies and tools goes hand-in-hand with the right culture, employee engagement approach, and people processes,” the report said. “Leadership teams must embrace the new future of hybrid work and be the examples for their teams.”