Given the volume and complexity of identities, data, applications, devices, and infrastructures, it’s not surprising that employers want the confidence that their organisation really is fully protected and that their users can connect to the business environment securely and with confidence.

It’s worth noting that most remote home users connect to their business environment via the internet using their home broadband connection, which is shared with other members of the home. Every business should note that the internet by default is an open system accessible by all and is by its nature invariably insecure.

That’s why taking your security seriously and managing the risk is of utmost importance. While achieving connectivity for remote users was always the first priority, achieving this securely should be the goal of every business.

Our work as security, data centre and cloud experts takes us under the skin of hundreds of the region’s businesses. Common questions we are asked include: –

How can we help employees stay safe from COVID-19 themed phishing attacks?

How do we keep work files from being left behind on employee home computers? How do I make sure the devices my employees use are secure?

Is there an easier way for employees to securely access on-premises applications? How do we enable a good remote desktop experience?

How can we do all this while minimising costs and complexity?

The big vendors have been quick to respond to the sudden change in the market, accelerating development times on a battalion of new tools and services to help organisations protect themselves against threat. The emphasis is on developing increasingly sophisticated ‘zero trust’ security tools, which do not trust any internal or external device that is trying to connect to your systems.

One tool that has become common in both our business and personal lives is multi-factor authentication (MFA) where we need to present several pieces of evidence, for example a password and then a code sent to our mobiles, before we can proceed to log in to a cloud or internetconnected application.

Cisco is leading the way in this area with its latest Duo tool, developed in response to organisations looking for a reliable, secure and easy-to-manage, MFA tool that can simply bolt on to existing infrastructures, at a lower cost than anything currently on the market. Duo validates users and devices, gives visibility over devices across all platforms, and provides secure access to all apps, whether they are on premise or in the cloud, supporting your staff by helping them to keep your organisation and its information safe online.

Staying with Cisco, we’re also seeing a surge in demand for Cisco Umbrella, a secure internet gateway providing first line defence against internet threats, wherever your users are, and however they are connecting. In the past, desktops, business apps and critical infrastructure were all located behind the firewall. But right now so much more is happening off-network and if you rely on perimeter security alone, you are at risk. Microsoft’s new Intune product is set to re-write the book on cloud-based mobile device and application management, with its ability to ensure all your company-owned and bring-your-own devices are managed and always up to date, with the most flexible, scalable control over any Windows, Apple, and Android devices.

With so many available IT management options to choose from, and a pressing need to focus on business issues as we begin to rebuild the economy, it is unsurprising that the managed services market is seeing unprecedented growth. The advantages of working with a managed services partner who takes responsibility for whatever level of your IT infrastructure fits best with your business are that it frees up your in-house resources, maintains high levels of expertise across a broad range of specialisms, and offers you a fixed and predictable cost base.

Why not talk to our experts and get your free business security review now, to make sure your organisation is prepared for the brave new world?