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New Work Environment demands Stronger IT Security

New Work Environment demands Stronger IT Security | ARCON Blog

Overview

If we look a couple of years back, the concept of Work From Home (WFH) was limited to freelancers and a few working professionals. Over the passage of time, the sudden pandemic brought massive changes in the  enterprise work culture. Due to biological security, many organizations asked their employees to stay at home and thus Work From Home (WFH) became a familiar term for full-time working professionals. 

Situations have improved and now employees are back to the office gradually. However, there has been hybridization between ‘working from home’ and ‘working from office’. According to exclusive and latest CNBC research, over 70% of global employees are presently working remotely at least once a week. As a result, organizations are modifying their IT infrastructure so that flexibility of location cannot create any hindrance among the workforce. This has given birth to a new model – Work From Anywhere (WFA).

 

Some Challenges

The top three objectives of any business organization (both MNC & SME) are: 

  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Higher Revenue
  • Business Continuity

To ensure all the above in WFA conditions, organizations are revamping their IT environment, IT security policies, access management of critical data repositories and increasing the frequency of IT audits. Many organizations have considered this necessity as a challenge and banked on third-party service providers to ensure that there is no interruption in the business amid the pandemic. 

However, the circumference of IT risk expanded beyond assessment. Numerous threats have arised at the infrastructure level and hence, organizations necessitated the security of distributed workforce in multiple locations. Among all, the maximum risks lie with the ever-expanding number of privileged identities in the IT network periphery. In both remote and on-prem conditions, privileged accounts are the most vulnerable areas when it comes to data breach threats. Unrecognized third parties, external IT staff, and consultants break through privileged access, intrude on the privacy and compromise confidential business information and misuse it. The dominant threats in WFA conditions are majorly due to:

  • Poor or inadequate access control policies that lead to ambiguity in all the accesses happening in the enterprise IT environment. Malicious actors reap the benefits of this vulnerability and compromise privileged accounts.
  • Absence or inadequate end-user validation mechanism like multi-factor authentication fails to segregate authorized and genuine users from the suspicious ones who are accessing critical systems in the enterprise network time and again.
  • Employees access business-critical applications and systems every day with ‘always-on’ privileges. Risks multiply if there is the absence of an access control framework based only on ‘need-to-know’ and ‘need-to-do’ policies. 

 

Best Solutions

Protecting data is always the top priority for any enterprise. While adequate security controls are a must round the clock, they are even more important as employees are working in hybrid work conditions. Thus, the challenge of safeguarding enterprise data has intensified. Apart from the basic IT security cautiousness as expected from the workforce, organizations always prefer an all-in-one solution that could address all the WFA challenges under one roof. 

ARCON being a global brand offers best-in-class and feature-rich Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Identity Access Management (IAM) solutions for both remote and on-prem conditions. The access control risks intensify if hundreds of privileged users access the critical databases, systems or applications at different hours for different purposes. Starting from user authorization, elevated access authentication, password vaulting, maintaining workflow matrix, monitoring every privileged session and robust identity governance, ARCON ensures that it safeguards the organizations’ IT landscape from prevailing cyber threats with the robust features of the solutions. Here is a brief overview of the necessary and relevant ones:

ARCON | PAM

ARCON | IAM

It ensures that the privileged passwords are frequently rotated and stored in a vault to prevent any credential misuse It can seamlessly integrate with different authentication repositories for user provisioning and shares their credentials with other integrated cloud/ on-prem applications
This tool restricts, controls and continuously monitors the privileged users in both on-prem and cloud environment by applying the deepest granular level control and multi-factor authentication of the users It simplifies the IT administration by configuring and automating the approval process for privileged users, user groups and service groups; also, the workflow speeds up the process of assigning servers to the privileged users 
It captures every single privileged access log and generates customized reports and audit trails of all privileged activities in the enterprise network periphery It monitors and audits privileged activities in real time to spot any anomaly and it is displayed on live dashboard for both cloud and on-prem environment
This tool offers comprehensive visibility over privileged users by ensuring accountability and adherence to the Compliance standards as applicable  With this, the end-users can manage elevated credentials by automating and rotating as per policy standards; also, it ensures safe synchronization across the network so that there is no service disruption
It reinforces role-based access in the IT environment with “need-to-know” and “need-to-do” policy that is centralized in nature and ensures “Least Privilege” principle It safeguards the confidential business information by offering secured access only via approved and authorized user identities – with this, the identity governance is restored and provisioning/ deprovisioning of the identities is streamlined

 

Conclusion

According to The Economic Times, almost 64% of organizations from IT, Telecom, Financial services, Utilities sector have agreed upon workplace flexibility policy worldwide. The pandemic is not yet over and thus organizations are not taking chances with their business continuity. Work From Anywhere (WFA) policy has indirectly upgraded organizations’ IT infrastructure to the next level so that business operations remain unaffected in any given situation. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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