Perimeter-based security strategies continue to become more obsolete as organizations adopt cloud technologies and SaaS applications like Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams and more in the workplace. As the security landscape evolves to be less binary, business’ understanding of security and risk must evolve, too.
In March 2020, we witnessed IT infrastructures disband entirely as a global pandemic pushed employees to work from home and organizations towards a digital transformation. This shift initially created gaps between IT and security maturity, with IT teams being asked to get tools in place for file sharing, video conferencing and remote collaboration without any security considerations. But as these technologies were implemented, it wasn’t long before we started seeing cracks in the foundation.
It became critical for organizations to enable employees with the technology required to be productive, efficient and connected. Strategic security leaders followed suit, enabling the business by ensuring the security and visibility of data that moved on and off the corporate network.
IT, step aside — HR owns the digital workplace now
Collaboration tools have changed the nature of how we work. Data is more portable than ever, and not everything can happen on the network.
While most companies have embraced collaboration tools and SaaS applications at some level, the use cases for these tools continue to evolve. As an example, if an organization originally implemented Zoom for HR interviews and sales calls, it may find that other departments operating in a fully remote or hybrid setting prefer — or even require — Zoom over traditional conference calls for internal team meetings. As we consider the shift to a virtual workforce, it should be HR in the driver’s seat, steering the strategy on what the optimal employee experience should look like. IT’s role isn’t to raise objections; it’s to support that strategy with the tools and training to empower employees and facilitate collaboration.
Furthermore, as companies move to the cloud, tools like DocuSign, JIRA or Zendesk help ensure business continuity, especially across global, remote or hybrid workforces. Security teams should understand that choosing not to embrace these tools paves the way for shadow IT. If authorized tools are too restrictive and slow or lack important features to accomplish regular tasks, they’ll find themselves playing a game of “whack a mole,” trying to stop employees from downloading the unsanctioned apps that they need to get their jobs done.
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