Remote Working Is The New Normal

The concept of  remote worker working on the go from multiple locations has become more prevalent, as consumer Wi-Fi becomes faster, more users carry corporate laptops or BYOD-permitted smartphones and since  many workers no longer need a need access to a printer and the fax machine has disappeered from most workplaces.. 

Which has proved a  good preparation for the current COVID-19 lockdown, where remote working has moved from being something that you may do one day a week to something that is the new normal for many people. 

Remote working (RW) may be a novelty for some, but this type of flexible working arrangement is increasingly popular. It can provide a better work/life balance by allowing people to live further from their workplaces and it can be very useful during periods of extreme weather when it is unsafe to travel. 

While many companies have adopted off-site work for a small fraction of their employees and functions, transitioning to large scale remote work is very challenging not only from a process perspective but also culturally. Some employees will always need to have access to systems that only exist on premises, while others gain valuable satisfaction and fulfillment from face-to-face communications with peers, partners and of course customers. 

Companies that have adopted the cloud early will discover that a large majority of their systems are no longer bound to their physical office, while others, especially more established firms, are likely to rely substantially on tools deployed on premises or in their own data center. 

Similarly, companies that have allowed some level of remote work will find their employees more experienced and quicker to transition to a 100% remote atmosphere.  Employees who are used to working from home once a week will most likely have a better at-home work setup and understand the pitfalls of remote work already, which makes the transition easier than for those with no experience. 

The almost global move to home working for many organisations has direct implications on security. In particular, and in addition to the multitude of new phishing attacks and many experts no longer think  that remote work and the cyber security risks associated with this new workforce will come to an end when the coronavirus pandemic is over. 

From a technology perspective, there are unique challenges when it comes to the use of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Services, particularly when teams can no longer work in a physical location together

Each of these applications may have its own point of access, and when users reach them directly from their home networks, enterprise visibility and policy-based control for each of these connections may be lost and difficult to regain. The remote working factor has hit companies with an unexpected blow, and many were unlikely to be so prepared for this to happen. Now we have to consider that this situation will remain for some time, and the onus is on businesses to ensure that the technical and communication channels remain enabled.

Digital technology may free people to work remotely in the first place, but it also causes unforeseen problems and 24/7 work culture didn’t happen overnight, or because of coercive managers. Instead, the perceived division between work and non-work has steadily disappeared over time, while few of us were paying attention.

Remote working could well become permanent for many people. Many companies were encouraging staff to work elsewhere to reduce office costs before the outbreak, and this will probably be all the more attractive to the businesses that survive this crisis.  In ten years we may look back from our remote workstations and remember 2020 as the year we last went into the office. 

The Conversation:         BBC:        Infosecurity Magazine:     Cybereason

You Might Also Read: 

The Risks Of Remote Working:

Security Advice For Using Video Conference Tools:

For more information, please contact Cyber Security Intelligence for advice  and recommendations on training for employees.

 

 

 

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