How Identity Governance Can Support And Secure Hybrid Work

How Identity Governance Can Support And Secure Hybrid Work

Because of the global pandemic, hybrid work setup, also known as remote work or flexible work is becoming the new norm. Although traditional offices are still common in most parts, more and more people are getting used to working in the comfort of their home, coffee shop, or anywhere else they have a computer.

This hybrid work setup is helpful for both employees and employers; it gives workers the flexibility to balance their personal and professional lives while allowing companies to remain competitive in today’s business landscape.

It will continue to grow as more companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Shopify adopt remote or hybrid work, flexible hours, and other non-traditional models of employment. In 2022, it is predicted that more than 90% of employers will have implemented a hybrid working model for their knowledge workers.

However, this setup can create security risks for organizations since there is a lack of centralized identity management. Security issues become a more challenging problem because it’s harder to monitor employees outside the office.

The Security and Compliance Challenges

The move to a hybrid workforce set up, where employees may use more devices which they can access anywhere at their convenience, is putting pressure on IT security teams. The mix of remote and in-office employees means more data needs to be protected than ever before.

The 2020 Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that over two-thirds of cyber attacks in 2019 were caused by identity thefts, phishing, and business email compromises. Web applications were the target of 43 percent of all breaches.

For many organizations, this means reassessing how they protect the data of their employees who telecommute. Failure to secure data and keep it private could lead to not just security breaches but hefty non-compliance fines. This is especially true for companies that are subject to data protection laws and increasingly come under the scrutiny of regulators.

For example, if an employee loses an unencrypted laptop containing sensitive information, then there’s a high probability that the data will end up in the wrong hands. Confidential information may be exposed to possible fraudsters, not just to the detriment of business operations but to the whole company as well. Because of this error, the company may face several losses including financial, reputation, and public trust.

Companies need to quickly identify how to secure this new environment, including how best to secure data in the cloud while still retaining necessary controls inside the enterprise perimeter. Trying to secure a borderless workforce using traditional security tools doesn’t work; enterprises need to think in new ways about security in hybrid environments.

How Identity Governance Plays An Important Role

When your organization supports both online and offline identities, it is critical to managing that information in a way that can be trusted. Identifying the right management strategy requires understanding how identities are used in your organization, how they’re accessed and used, who needs access, and where they are located. It also requires a comprehensive view of identity information that spans on-premises, cloud environments and mobile devices.

In this hybrid setup, identity governance can be the new perimeter. Users should be able to securely and seamlessly access resources and third-party applications using any device or application that is available on their device.

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Key Benefits of Identity Governance In Hybrid Work

Identity governance means managing and tracking user accounts across the entire organization. This includes an effective strategy for supporting and securing hybrid workforces, which blend on-site and off-site employees into a single cohesive unit. Policies are used to govern identity actions and operations and provide a clear understanding of what employees can and cannot do with identity data. The policies help ensure that trusted identities are created, used, stored, and destroyed securely.

Here are some benefits that identity governance solutions offer:

1. Reduction in administrative tasks

It provides tools to consolidate identities from multiple domains into a single platform. Therefore, administrators can manage users’ identities from a single place without logging on to different domains.

2. Improved employee productivity

With identity governance, employees could seamlessly shift from working from the office to home or even the airport. It can provide secure access to information for specific applications, so employees don’t have to log in multiple times per day. Without sacrificing security, it can also provide mobile access to company data on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

3. Peace of mind for the business when it comes to security and regulatory compliance

It provides an audit trail that shows who accessed what data, when they accessed it, why they accessed it, and how they accessed it. It can provide proof for regulatory compliance audits and internal investigations or security incidents. The results from an audit trail are not only actionable but can be used also to diagnose problems or troubleshoot issues.

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Investing In Identity Governance For Businesses

As the number of employees who work in a hybrid organizational arrangement increases, so does the need for identity governance to protect data and support a secure access model.

Enabling remote working is just one part of the equation; enterprises need to consider how they’re going to protect themselves from these new risks while still allowing employees to enjoy the flexibility and freedom that makes remote working so appealing.

The benefits to businesses and employees are clear: productivity gains, employee retention, and better work-life balance. And while hybrid work has some challenges—such as keeping employees productive in multi-site teams and reducing the risk of data breaches—it can be overcome with proper technology management like identity governance.

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