We have been writing multiple blog posts in the last few weeks that have had references to disruptions that have been caused by shifts in the workforce due to COVID-19. Many organizations were so caught off guard by the immense changes that were sprung upon them at such a rapid pace that they didn’t have time to prepare for a largely “work from home” world.

There are many lessons to be learned from what has occurred during this period of disruption, but there is also still a lot to plan for in the coming weeks, including data management strategies.

Data management strategies have become even more important with the expansion of the “work from home” workforce. This is becoming all the more relevant as we prepare staff to return to work inside an office environment – it is critical to understand what has been deployedto whomand how.

Many organizations are facing challenges around SaaS applications, especially around visibility and security into new collaboration tools currently in use. The often-reactive measures many organizations have utilized to deploy these remote access solutions has put priceless data at risk.

In today’s post we’re going to be talking about common challenges for data protection with the current remote workforce, and then take a deeper dive on data loss protection strategies so that you can be prepared for the coming weeks and months as the global workforce continues to make huge shifts in operation.

Identity and Access Management

A solid Identity and Access Management program must be a primary tenet of securing a mobile workforce. With a solid Identity and Access Management program in place, you can build upon this firm foundation to evolve to deeper levels of secure remote access to greatly reduce the risk of unauthorized users accessing your organization’s data.

An important step is to achieve a multi-factor authentication approach to move past passwords as your users’ primary authentication tools. This is especially important at a time where users are becoming more mobile and may be using more devices than ever as they work from home, and gradually migrate back to the office.

There are a variety of ways to of achieving multi-factor authentication (MFA), but a huge challenge is implementing MFA at scale throughout the organization. There are great physical devices like security tokens, but they can be difficult to deploy while everyone is apart.

There are other technology solutions that can transform devices like employees’ smartphones into authentication tools so that each user can quickly be onboarded into a MFA program. It is imperative to have a guided and strategic approach so your organization can move quickly, while staying secure by adding an extra layer of protection to your data.

Securing Cloud Applications

Many companies have been using cloud applications for communication and collaboration to help keep their productivity up during this extensive period of work from home. While these tools have been vital, over the last couple months, cloud applications have continued to present potential security risks by way of compliance violations, identity theft, malware infections, and data breaches. Understanding how to address these risks is crucial in today’s changing environment.

There are a number of solutions that can help secure your organization so that your users can continue to safely use cloud applications to keep up productivity and efficiency of work while they are working remotely. One such solution is the implementation of a Cloud Access Security Broker or CASB.

This is a cloud-based software that sits between cloud service users and cloud applications, and monitors all activity and enforces security policies. A CASB can offer a variety of services such as monitoring user activity, warning administrators about potentially hazardous actions, enforcing security policy compliance, and automatically preventing malware.

We have also talked in a previous blog post about the implementation of Governance as Code to ensure that organizations avoid any potential compliance violations, especially when their workforce becomes increasingly decentralized.

Governance as Code moves your governance, including implementing best security practices, adhering to compliance requirements and standards, and allocating business resources, away from a manual, human-based approach to a more consistent, efficient, and highly repeatable code-based approach.

We Can Help You Navigate This New Normal

We have only scratched the surface of the challenges that have presented themselves to organizations around the world due to the massive migration to remote work over the last couple of months. Fortunately, we have also only scratched the surface of potential solutions to these challenges as well. Though these potential problems aren’t over just yet, we can absolutely help bring stability to this period of uncertainty.

How can Fishtech help?

We recently had a detailed discussion on a webcast that focused specifically on the challenges and solutions around data protection strategies, which you can check out here. This can help give a broader insight on areas you may need to focus on in the coming weeks and months in this state of constant change. Furthermore, we are ready to help give you consultation on your current security posture with our listen-first advisors, and provide guidance on the best way forward with solution-focused technology.

If you are ready to talk about data protection strategies for your organization, fill out the form below, and we will connect you with one of our experts.