Securing your remote workforce is going to cost you. But not nearly as much as failing to do so.

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According to a recent survey by 451 Research, almost 80% of organisations have now implemented remote work policies, and nearly 70% believe that it will be permanent. 

Like it or not, remote working is here to stay. And while it has been welcomed by many employees and employers, the new distributed workforce has brought with it an extraordinary slew of cybersecurity challenges. 

Yet another corporate casualty makes the news. 

Rarely a day passes without the news of yet another organisation, either reporting a huge data breach or that that they have been the target of a costly ransomware attack. 

If you are of the persuasion that this is unlikely to happen to you, then ignore the warnings at your peril. According to a recent survey by CrowdStrike over half of organisations were subjected to a ransomware attack at least once in the last calendar year. 

In fact, ransomware now poses the greatest malware threat to SMBs with the average cost of downtime increasing by a staggering 94% in the last year. 

It’s time to acknowledge that whave entered a new era. 

There is little doubt that the rapid shift to remote working has been the key driver behind the recent surge in malware attacks. Hackers are fully aware that organisations are vulnerable and are taking full advantage of the opportunity to line their pockets. 

Many observers initially laid much of the blame firmly at the feet of staff who in their haste to continue working were oblivious to best security practices. But it’s all too easy to point the finger at staff or beleaguered IT departments who were all working flat out to deal with a series of precedented challenges. 

With hindsight, 3 main major contributing factors have led to this huge rise in attacks: 

  • The dramatic increase in the adoption of new technologies to facilitate remote collaboration 
  • A lack of training and support for remote workers 
  • Overworked and poorly equipped IT security staff 

The reality is that a range of factors combined to create a perfect storm that cyber criminals have been quick to exploit. 

In the new era, organisations of all sectors and sizes must recognise the security implications of managing a remote workforce and take immediate action. 

To start with, operations have to shift their focus from protecting office-based assets that are predominantly secured behind the corporate firewall. Looking forward, the main aim must be to keep up with and secure assets in the new decentralised, increasingly diverse IT environment. 

This change from a network security strategy to a new end point security strategy requires a fundamentally different approach. Failure to make the transition to allow people to work from remote locations without establishing a robust end point strategy, will simply play straight into the hands of the cyber criminals. 

Not only do you need the means to secure your data, you also need the skills to maintain it – 24/7/365. 

Some organisations have tightened up their security protocols and implemented new software solutions. A few have even employed additional staff such as service desk technicians to provide advice and support. 

But if the truth be told, it’s simply not enough. 

Every single corporate device, be it desktop, laptop, or smartphone, must be continually updated, patched, protected, and connected securely to the internet at all times. 

Many existing IT teams aren’t equipped to implement a new operational process that will deliver this new level of security. Training up existing staff to take on the role takes time and resources, while a dearth of qualified professionals in the job market can make hiring an extremely frustrating and ultimately fruitless task. 

In order to accommodate the move to remote working, security can no longer be regarded as simple add on, it needs to be an integral part of every single IT asset. 

Which is why we have seen the evolution of the Managed Digital Workspace, a solution that is set to become an essential element of the organisational makeup of businesses across the world. 

Not only does employing the services of an external managed service make the organisation instantly more secure, it also saves the time and cost of having to recruit and/or train up members of staff. 

Furthermore, it removes the headache of having to oversee all the important operational processes that go on in the background and ensure that everyone is doing their job properly. 

Pay now or pay the price later. 

If you are serious about securing your organisation and not leaving your people and your organisation vulnerable, then unfortunately, like everything in life it comes at a price. 

The hard truth is that you can no longer get away with a standard anti-virus product and a basic firewall and think you are secure – because you aren’t. Cyber criminals have upped their game and consequently you need to up your game to match the threat. 

Consequently, the cost of securing every user regardless of where they are located comes with a price tag. And while it may be a bitter pill for your organisation to swallow, it’s not nearly as much as the cost of the failure to do so, as many organisations have discovered. 

Which is why at Quadris we have invested a great deal of time, effort, and money in engineering our Managed Digital Workspace with strict security protocols at its very heart. 

This future-focused solution incorporates 5 critical elements to secure your distributed workforce and protect your organisation from cyber threats. 

You can discover the full story behind this ingenious solution here. But to summarise, we have placed security at the very heart of our Managed Digital Workspace solution, through a combination of the following: 

  1. VMware Workspace ONE intelligence-driven Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform 
  1. Cisco Umbrella Secure internet gateway (SIG) for remote users 
  1. Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints 
  1. Cisco Talos Intelligence Group 
  1. Quadris Security Operations Centre (SOC) 

This powerful set of services delivers comprehensive protection and continual threat analysis to every end user – no matter where they are working: 

  • Advanced policy control of digital workspace equipment, including encryption, USB access, patching, and application use 
  • Web access control through DNS-based internet proxy for mobile devices and Windows desktops 
  • Immediate identification and prevention of malicious data packets that are attempting to infiltrate your network 
  • Monitor any potential cyber-threats that are on the horizon, before they impact your network 

What’s more, with Quadris’ Managed Digital Workspace not only do you have a round-the-clock service desk ready to deal with any issues, our front-line technicians are backed up by industry leading experts. So, if a worst-case scenario should happen and a threat is detected, you can relax in the knowledge that your IT network is in the safest of hands. 

You always stay in control. 

To complete the picture, we have developed EyeQ, a customer portal that enables you to see quickly and clearly that we are delivering everything our solution promises. 

With EyeQ you have at your fingertips a comprehensive range of reports such as: proof that maintenance tests have been completed, the current status of anti-virus software, any security incidents that have taken place, the status of backups, adherence to agreed SLAs, how many tickets are open and the status of all tickets, plus a host of additional features and functionality. 

This intelligent and intuitive portal not only ensures that we deliver on our promises, it also provides you with a degree of transparency that ensures you have greater control over the security of your IT operations than ever before. 

At the end of the day, the question is not whether you can put a price on guaranteeing the security of your organisation’s data, but whether you can afford not to. 

To find out more about our Managed Digital Workspace solution and how it ensures your people are as protected when working remotely as they are in the office, contact Peter Grayson on 0161 537 4980 or peter.grayson@quadris.co.uk