A workplace that’s secure – an engineer’s perspective

By Alex Matthews, - Employee experienceInsight

As society’s digital transformation journey ramps up, so does our understanding of what cybersecurity really means.

In our recent interview – A workplace that’s secure, with Fujitsu’s David Smith and Alex Homer, we discussed how cybersecurity used to be an additional, separate function of enterprise. It was largely focused outwards, blocking attacks from outside of the business and creating barriers to mitigate risk. But this has changed.

As we begin planning and preparing for the workplace of the future, one which is increasingly digital and therefore data-led, the challenge of cybersecurity has become as much about looking into the business as outside of it.

More than ever before, businesses are focused on providing the best employee and customer experience possible, and that means ease of access and seamlessness throughout.

In our personal lives, we already use touch and face ID for most of our devices to access everything from online banking to messaging services.

So, our challenge is clear – how do we enable employees to enjoy the same level of seamlessness in their corporate lives as well? And how do we do that without letting defences slip?

The complicated nature of simplicity

There’s a reason companies require employees to jump through hoops of security to access workplace systems. Data breaches are becoming too big a consequence for businesses to fall prey to – other than fines or loss of revenue, the reputational cost alone can sink a company.

But as David Smith comments on in our conversation, simply banning personal devices or USBs won’t be effective because people need to be able to be able to work freely and collaborate with agility.

So ultimately, exceptions will need to be made and the policy will fall apart.

VMware allows you to tie these two threads together – hide the complexity that goes into securing a modern enterprise and provide workers with a single sign-on point for all corporate IT systems.

So, IT departments can still maintain the necessary level of security their enterprise needs, but they no longer have to place that burden on the employees.

Allowing workers to enjoy the same ease of accessibility they do in their personal lives.

Maintaining the environment

While giving employees a single point of access is a challenge when they’re on premises, it’s a different challenge altogether when they’re off it.

Because all remote work is not the same – the security risks of an employee working from their desk at home is very different from one working from an airport.

Likewise, the infrastructural demands on IT also vary based on whether workers want to access fixed client-based applications running on Windows, or SaaS based ones.

The effective difference in working environment is the biggest challenge employees face when it comes to digital workplace solutions.

But by providing a different type of experience across all those networking scenarios, we can give workers the capability to work seamlessly, irrespective of their location.

A culture of responsibility

Most internal customers today have a level of awareness when it comes to cybersecurity in general. We all pause before downloading an email attachment or mobile application when it’s from an unknown source.

As I mention in the video, these are the kinds of habits we’re striving to build on – just as we provide the software to back up systems, our digital partner Fujitsu supports companies through awareness training that fosters more security conscious cultures.

Our goal is to enable IT and HR departments so that one day, it’s standard procedure for them to provide a smooth, continuous experience throughout employee lifecycles.

From their on-boarding and provisioning of their work devices, to their eventual exit one day, we enable teams to work together in a seamless fashion – HR on the front end and IT in the background.

Raising the standard

We’re working with the rest of the industry to facilitate this future. Through collaborative partnerships, like Fujitsu and VMware, we are elevating the basic levels of security postures for most security portfolios in the world.

Security is intrinsic to all of our propositions – it’s built into everything we do from the ground up.

And as the fourth industrial revolution looms and the demand for talent intensifies, expect the ability to offer workers an enjoyable, unified workplace experience to become a key differentiator.

To learn more about how you can better prepare for the office of the future, watch our video ‘A workplace that’s secure’.

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