Security leaders facing challenges in managing and securing distributed work environments

Absolute Software announced new insights into how organizations are rethinking and rebuilding their operating models after more than 18 months of remote work forced massive change and unprecedented digital transformation.

distributed work challenges

The research report shows that less than 20% of organizations surveyed plan to adopt a fully in-person or remote model in 2022, with the large majority planning to embrace a hybrid or ‘work from anywhere’ approach.

The biggest distributed work challenges

Survey findings also revealed that IT and security leaders continue to face significant challenges in managing and securing distributed work environments – notably, when it comes to balancing the need to minimize risk exposure with the need to provide seamless, secure employee access no matter where they are connecting from.

54% of IT leaders surveyed agree that the biggest challenge in managing risk is having the right technology tools in place to mitigate it. While a majority reported having clear visibility into device usage when their employees are in the office and connected to corporate networks, less than 40% said that their organizations have the same level of visibility and control over remote or distributed devices.

Organizations need to shift away from perimeter-based security approaches

To strengthen security posture and significantly reduce the risk exposure in hybrid work environments, organizations need to shift away from perimeter-based security approaches in favor of modern security architectures that focus on zero trust network access, employee experience monitoring, and Endpoint Resilience.

“While it is nearly impossible to predict exactly what the future of work will look like, the one thing we know for certain is that remote and hybrid work is here to stay,” said Joel Windels, CMO of Absolute Software.

“Every organization should be re-imagining their operating model from the top down – with a core focus on enabling the same user experience whether they are at their desk, at home, or on the road. Flexibility and security are not, and should not, be seen as competing priorities. With the right solutions and capabilities in place – things like zero trust network access, self-healing devices and controls, and network resilience – it is entirely possible to deliver on both.”

Other key findings

  • 42% of IT and security leaders surveyed reported that managing risk is the biggest drawback of remote and hybrid working, while 40% said their top concern was ensuring effective employee collaboration.
  • Nearly 60% of healthcare organizations surveyed said that not having the right tools and technologies is their barrier in managing risk and compliance with the shift to work-from-anywhere company policies. The report found that two in three healthcare devices analyzed contained sensitive data, over half of which was Protected Health Information (PHI).
  • 49% of IT leaders surveyed worry that employees are less happy when working from the office or have more difficulty achieving work-life balance; their concerns about morale were equal to security, productivity and collaboration concerns combined.

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