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[ARTICLE] The Importance of a Centrally Managed & Secure Remote Workplace

Sam Button, Head of Growth, Roar Media

Whether your digital workplace was built to sustain the complications of COVID-19 or had to rapidly adapt to maintain productivity, connectivity & collaboration. It is vital to consider the implications of this new environment and implement a secure remote working strategy with cloud based central management and identity verification to enable the correct permissions to access documents & data.

Historically end user computing has been governed within the enterprise, with compliance & security physically implemented within the office network. With the rise in BYOD through smart phones & tablets, invasive security became a necessity to protect sensitive content including emails & customer data. Companies wanted their employees to have access to internal CRM systems & emails whilst they were not physically in the office but they realised the potential threats of data breaches and built practices into the information assurance protocols to negate this.  

However, a fully remote workforce presents new challenges, including the security of company owned devices; especially through home networks. The security strategy must encompass all devices, logins & access points, this all requires a central cloud-based management system for secure endpoint control. With the connectivity of all devices through the digital workplace required for communication & collaboration, there is an ever-present threat if one device or identity is breached.

Cyber security analysts improve the information assurance strategy on a daily basis, adapting to new threats. These updates need to be rolled out across all devices and users which is impossible to govern if each device is not connected to the central system and subject to safety checks, security updates and controls on a daily basis. The hardware & OS of each employees laptop needs to be assessed and in some cases standardised to enable the necessary levels of security to have a connected environment without the threat of attacks. If the new working environment is to last, this enhanced protection is something that needs to be addressed and implemented.

When supporting a deployment of remote workers, it’s important to have the right administrative tools to help keep employees and corporate data more secure. It is also important to have software in place to prevent end users from visiting phishing websites & notify users when their password needs changing. Secure DNS, improves safety & privacy whilst browsing to prevent attackers from observing which sites your employees visit.

Central management & administrative tools also support collaboration & connectivity, allowing employees to access sensitive data when they have the necessary permissions. Storing their own individual settings through a login promotes productivity with quicker load times to the information and applications they need to perform their daily tasks. Communication with the managers of the networks permissions also should be as transparent as ever, with requests for new applications to be installed or utilised on devices aimed at increasing productivity, comfort or happiness whilst with a working from home environment. Some applications which are often blocked whilst working within an office environment, such as music services & childcare applications need to be re-evaluated for their suitability within a remote digital workplace.

Throughout this time of rapid change it is important to remain agile but also asses and build for a better future, should anything like this happen again. The threat of cyber attacks and data breaches is very real, safe browsing should be encouraged through education & managed centrally to minimise the chance of an attack. Cloud-based central management also provides many benefits to support the digital workplace through application availability, permissions, software updates and individual cloud based logins to keep all applications easily accessible anywhere on any machine.

Central management will be a key topic at the online Digital Workforce Innovation Conference taking place on September 10th

The event is in partnership with Google Chrome Enterprise, who offer a range of services to ensure a secure remote working environment & digital workplace, you can learn more about their solutions here.

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