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The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the workplace of the future. In fact, a recent Gartner survey found that 90% of respondents plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time, even after the COVID-19 vaccine is widely adopted.
In this new “everywhere workplace,” IT networks, applications, and data are being accessed from everywhere, with employees using various devices to access corporate data and services as they work from any location. While productivity has skyrocketed, this remote work landscape has also expanded the enterprise attack surface and created new security challenges for organizations.
Adding to the challenges posed by the everywhere workplace is the fact that employees are not prioritizing security, even though cybersecurity threats targeting remote workers have reached catastrophic new heights. Ivanti’s 2021 Secure Consumer Cyber Report found that one in four consumers admit to using their work email or password to log in to consumer websites and applications such as food delivery apps and online shopping sites, putting themselves and enterprises at risk.
So, how can IT departments secure their digital assets and defend against the onslaught of attacks aimed at remote workers?
Zero trust security to the rescue
The everywhere workplace demands everywhere security. Say hello to zero trust security!
At its simplest, zero trust security enables organizations to continually verify each asset and transaction before permitting any access to the network. Verification includes, but is not limited to, strong authentication of users, posture checks for devices, and micro-segmentation of networks. Zero trust also takes the whole context of the user’s environment into consideration, not just unconnected pieces of data, before granting access. For instance, is the employee trying to access sensitive customer data from a corporate-owned device on a secure enterprise network, or from a personal smartphone using free Wi-Fi at the airport?
With a zero trust model in place, companies can effectively defend against the leading causes of data breaches, such as stolen credentials, password reuse, and user impersonation. In addition, when deployed correctly, zero trust can protect user and data privacy, which is an increasing concern for both users and organizations today.
Automation is key to zero trust effectiveness
Automation that takes context into consideration is a key component of an effective zero trust authentication strategy. Automation tools typically include fundamental zero trust security features such as continuous device posture assessment, role-based user access control, and location awareness. By ensuring the user and device are in good health, companies also ensure that valid requests will be granted quickly and efficiently to reduce the operational cost and pain of zero trust.
With deep learning, supervised and unsupervised learning capabilities, enterprises can proactively and predictively detect configuration drift issues, performance issues, application crash issues, security vulnerabilities, etc. on devices and remediate them before the end user experiences any disruption.
For example, Ivanti Neurons lets IT query all edge devices with sensor-based technology and natural language processing to get real-time intelligence across the enterprise in seconds. It provides quick operational awareness, real-time inventory, and security configurations across all devices on the edge.
A self-healing future
With best-in-class contextual automation and zero trust technologies, enterprises can proactively and predictably detect issues, and then self-heal and self-secure devices.
Customers of Ivanti Neurons experience over 50% reductions in support call times, eliminating duplicate work between IT operations and security teams, and reducing the number of vulnerable devices by up to 50%. Customers of Ivanti Neurons also reduce unplanned outages up to 63%, reduce time to deploy security updates by 88%, and resolve up to 80% of endpoint issues before users report them.
Looking ahead, zero trust security clearly offers the most efficient and cost-effective way to secure the everywhere workplace, which is the future of work. Companies should urgently accelerate their zero trust journey and leverage latest technologies to mature their implementations. In addition to significantly reducing the risk of breaches, an effective zero trust strategy can deliver secure, contextual, and personalized user experiences in this next normal.