At this stage, there can be little doubt in anybody’s mind that the pandemic has changed the workplace forever. While the UK government outlines its multi-step plan for a return to normality, there will be many workers out there who have found a silver lining in all of this in the form of their redressed work-life balance.
These workers have regained the time usually spent on their commutes, they’ve saved more money and they’ve been able to spend more time with their families, as well as dedicate more time to pursuing their hobbies and outside interests. The prospect of giving this up will be unappealing for most, and so the future is most likely a hybrid approach to work. This will allow staff to split their time between home and the office. But how will businesses accommodate this from an IT perspective?
Workspace at home
As a result of home working employees have had to find space for a lot of new devices in their homes, and IT departments have had to let go of the idea of gaining physical access to these devices to perform maintenance and security work. This shift was likely to have been done rapidly to accommodate the sudden work-from-home order, so security policies will need to be altered to optimise and accommodate the change on a more permanent basis.
It is very likely that IT budgets for 21/22 will need to be reviewed to cope with the increased pressure on network security and cloud rollout more generally. Naturally, this will also mean updating the technology infrastructure that employees use from day-to-day. This will mean trading desktop PCs and landlines for laptops and mobile phones.
The death of BYOD
The SolarWinds attack has made us all acutely aware of the increased security risks from things like supply chain attacks that come with unfettered access to a company’s systems. Because of this the BYOD (bring your own device) culture is likely to be phased out as businesses seek to take greater control over their infrastructure and endpoints. Though businesses will do their best to maintain robust security protocols, this new hybrid world will doubtless come with countless new security implications, some of which are probably yet to be realised.
Whereas Cybersecurity has previously been the business of the IT department or outsources IT team, it will now need to be something that every single employee is given some level of training and education in. Onboarding for new employees should include a comprehensive section dedicated to the Cybersecurity practices of the business and general employee training and refresher courses should be mandatory. This should go some way towards combatting staff falling victim to phishing and ransomware attacks as businesses open themselves up and become more vulnerable.
The ‘new normal’ is looking increasingly hybrid, and businesses are going to have to accommodate this shift if they want to attract and retain the best talent. While the days of busy train commutes and bustling to the office are not over, they may be numbered, and the new landscape is certainly going to look very different this year and beyond.
Any modern business needs a robust Cyber Security Strategy to protect it from data breaches, phishing, malware attacks and other Cyber threats, and it’s even more crucial in the wake of the Pandamic. With remote working the ‘new normal’ over the last year due to COVID-19, many businesses are taking an in-depth look into their existing Cyber Security protocols to ensure they’re providing adequate controls to protect their remote working environment.