Fujitsu’s hybrid working cybersecurity predictions for 2022

By John Swanson, - Employee experienceFuture Workplace

Our world has changed beyond recognition since the turn of the decade – and these changes are here to stay.

In keeping with this trend, Gartner predicts that by the start of 2022, 51% of all knowledge workers worldwide will be working remotely, up from 27% in 2019; and almost all employees (98%) believe future meetings will include remote participants.

With these different working patterns and people working together from different access points, businesses must ensure their cybersecurity measures are enhanced to keep their business safe and secure as employees work from various locations.

As we continue to move towards a digital-first world, underpinned by dispersed workforces, this can leave systems and people vulnerable to attackers who are ever ready to exploit opportunities when they present themselves.

This piece will highlight the cybersecurity challenges that businesses face as we continue to see an increase in hybrid working, and how Fujitsu can help businesses to remain secure while ensuring people are productive and at the centre of business initiatives.


Cyber attackers will pivot

As more businesses continue to adopt a hybrid working model, Cyber attackers pivot to these changes very quickly. They will exploit vulnerabilities and remote access infrastructure by targeting these changing work environments as more people work remotely.

Also, increasingly, cloud based applications and services are being adopted with data outside what might have once been considered the traditional defences, so there’s a different and greater attack surface. And because of this, what will evolve in 2022 is a cyber attacker’s mode and strategy for attacking organizations.

This opportunity will continue to evolve as enterprises mature and start to look at those vulnerabilities and how they can strengthen their systems to mitigate risks.

One way they can do this is by implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure from providers such as Microsoft, who are already working on the connectivity to remote desktop infrastructure. So, as is adopted, the risk of working remotely reduces.


Increase in adoption of applications services

As more people work from home, more businesses are inevitably using more application services such as SaaS to meet business needs.

This increased adoption of SaaS can take shape as a blended or hybrid model of SaaS and on premise, and organizations will need to adapt their security model to meet the needs of the business and enable users to securely fulfil their role.


Securing data is essential

In the hybrid working model, it’s critical that businesses understand where their data is, what data is moving from one place to another, what data needs to be accessed by users, and when they can access it.

Also, it’s important to ensure the data is easily accessible to employees and that the process of obtaining it is seamless.

Not having these security measures in place poses a serious threat to your company and customers’ data and can cause reputational damage and have a direct impact upon revenues.


Accelerating Zero Trust

With more people embracing hybrid ways of working and consuming services from different devices and locations throughout the day, it’s now pertinent for businesses to continuously validate that people are who they say they are and can only access the resources they should.

For this reason, adoption of a Zero Trust security approach – where we trust nothing and verify everything – is increasingly relevant for organizations and is underpinned by effective control of access and identities.


Technology isn’t the only answer

There is a danger that organizations often go straight for a technology fix. But there can be more efficient ways in how we address security and optimize the opportunity of hybrid working.

It’s important that organizations don’t forget the human element in the security process. Businesses will have to work together with their employees through security education and awareness programmes and making sure they’re involved in the definition of policies.

Ultimately, if the policies don’t support their business needs, employees will look to find a way around the security controls to meet their objectives. Gathering feedback to inform the policies and controls will reduces risk.

It’s also essential to provide guidelines for employees to securely work remotely and change the culture to make  security everyone’s job.  Businesses will have to find a balance between making controls practical and making them secure.


Organizations will rely on expert partners

There’s a misconception that Zero Trust is something that can be switched on. However, it’s not. Zero Trust is a strategic investment that a business makes within their digital transformation to improve the security of their organization and enable business resiliency.

Hybrid working is here to stay, and effective security is fundamental pillar to enable organisational resilience – factors including protecting data, managing identities, providing secure access and enhancing the security culture need to be addressed.

A holistic approach is essential. Working with partners – such as Fujitsu – who have the security expertise, network expertise, and workplace expertise that can bring everything together through an assessment of all areas will be crucial to business security and growth.

Get in touch to learn how our Work Life Shift services can support your business needs.

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