The Rising Enterprise Security Trends which will Shape the Future Workplace

Every year or every few months we find ourselves face-to-face with new technologies that make our work and life easier. But along with that, security threats, vulnerabilities and attacks have become a frequent part of our lives. As evangelists of the security industry, we strive to stay one step ahead of these relentless attackers.

Traditional security practices will no longer suffice now that the digital transformation is well underway. In this article, I would like to share some of the latest trends in cybersecurity that are shaping the future of the workplace.

The Work from Anywhere Scenario Continues

As the global pandemic ends, employees who had adopted remote work for two years are hesitant to come out of it. Apple recently faced this dilemma when they called their employees back. Although most employees prefer it, remote work is a security nightmare for IT admins. Luckily, there were solutions that could help in these situations, and businesses have been busy adapting them since mid 2020.

The Prominence of Identity Management in Remote Work

As the remote work era goes on, organizations will need to re-evaluate their identity and access management strategies. As employees no longer use the corporate Wi-Fi, they will need to be identified and authenticated before granting access to company data or applications. Multi-factor authentication, single sign-on and encrypted data sharing are instrumental for remote work.

ITSM has evolved into Enterprise Service Management (ESM)

ESMs included other aspects of an enterprise like HR, finance etc., into the existing core capabilities of IT service management. It simplifies managing employees along with managing assets. Through ESMs, processes like employee onboarding and training, usually manual, can be automated.

To enhance your security posture, employ the services of unified endpoint management (UEM)

UEMs can help bolster the security capabilities of an enterprise by managing the in-built security functionalities offered by each OS, helping IT administrators have better visibility into their deployed endpoints, enforcing compliance policies across OSs and remotely pushing applications or OS updates.

Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) provide the best protection for corporate-owned devices.

These solutions can protect confidential data both locally and as it travels across the corporate network. In addition, advanced scanning and diagnosis features can detect malicious behaviors. Current SaaS based EPPs are also capable of adapting to even home networks.

The exponential cloud adoption rate

According to Gartner, public cloud expenditure will account for more than 45% of enterprise IT by 2026. However, the cloud presents a vast potential for vulnerabilities. As a result, organizations will have to change their traditional on-prem security architecture by switching to a cloud-native posture. After all, the future of the network is in the cloud.

Digital acceleration is spearheading the rise of SD-WAN

The increasingly distributed network infrastructure and the scattered workforce have made traditional multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) techniques obsolete. In order to modernize WAN connectivity, enterprises will have to switch to software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). By implementing SD-WAN, businesses will be able to quickly implement programmable, scalable, automated, and cost-effective connection solutions.

Employ Next-Gen SWGs to secure the growing cloud traffic

A next-gen SWG is the natural evolution of the traditional secure web gateway. Where the legacy SWGs dealt only with web traffic, NG SWGs can deal with both web and cloud traffic. By combining with other technologies like data loss prevention (DLP) and cloud access security broker (CASB), NG SWGs provide a suit of armor around an organization’s cloud architecture.

An integrated approach to enterprise security

The constant change of the IT landscape requires flexible, simple, cost effective and cloud-based solutions to keep cyber attackers at bay. Deploying a dozen or more solutions in the hope of security is neither manageable nor economical. This is where integrated architectures that offer multiple features from a unified console come in. Two such ideas that are lauded as the immediate future of enterprise security are SASE and zero trust.

SASE for the complete network security

Coined by Gartner in 2019, SASE is the product of the convergence of many different technologies and is designed to future-proof the corporate network. At its core, it combines SD-WAN, NG SWG, firewall as a service (FWaaS) and zero-trust network access (ZTNA). A SASE strategy provides improved visibility and control over the users, traffic, and data that use a business network, which are critical features for modern, internationally scattered enterprises. SASE-based networks are adaptable and scalable, allowing internationally dispersed employees and offices to join anywhere and on any device.

The zero-trust security architecture

The centerpiece of a zero-trust architecture is that it considers all endpoints and connections as a threat until they are identified and authorized. Furthermore, trust is only granted for a limited timeframe. It shelves the traditional assumption that every device, once connected to a corporate network, is trustworthy. Zero-trust can be implemented by the combined use of ZTNA, UEM and EPP. Any doubts on the importance of zero-trust were cleared when the White House released an executive order in May. According to the order, all federal agencies should be ready to deploy a zero-trust architecture by the end of 2022.

The Future

The upcoming years will see a substantial rise in AI applications in enterprise security. Even now, AI is being used to respond against zero-day vulnerabilities, analyze employee behaviors and consolidate customer services using chatbots. Although, we will have to wait a few more years to see how AI will reshape the world of work.