As we all start transitioning into post-COVID life, a lot of brainpower is going into figuring out where we should be doing our work. Do organizations stay the course of the past year and fully commit to distributed work (like we did at Automox)? Or request that employees return to the office once it’s deemed safe? As it turns out, many employers are looking at a third option: hybrid work.
What is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work is a combination of remote and in-office work environments – pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
Harvard Business Review recently released an article detailing several of the factors at play as employers wrestle with finding the right hybrid work strategy for their organization.
The pros to the modern hybrid work strategy are plentiful, especially when it comes to flexibility for employees. As some employees claim they will quit rather than return to the office, employers are pivoting to permanently adopt policies for their hybrid workforce that allow employees who prefer to work from home the option to do so, while giving those who favor face-to-face interaction with colleagues a designated place to go.
While it certainly seems that the hybrid work model can be effective, maintaining even a portion of your staff as remote workers presents big challenges for employers. In addition to concerns about collaboration, productivity, cultural values, and staff retention, there is arguably an even larger concern: cybersecurity risk.
Hybrid Workforce Solutions for Cybersecurity
The shift to remote work due to the pandemic made it painfully obvious that every “work from home” employee essentially had to be treated as a remote office of one. Configuring, patching, and deploying software at scale to hundreds or thousands of “remote offices” is every IT administrator’s nightmare - and in March 2020 it became our reality almost overnight. Legacy, on-premises security systems were simply never designed for the circumstances we found ourselves in. The pandemic forced many to quickly increase VPN capacity or adopt new tools and processes to manage the painful process of managing IT operations at scale.
As the dust settles, this is a great time to take a hard look at your IT environment and set up your infrastructure for long-term success. Like many others, you may now find yourself with too many tools or tools that don’t work the way you need them to as we shift away from VPNs and work to proactively address growing cybersecurity threats. The good news is that the IT Operations Cloud now exists, giving IT administrators full visibility into all endpoints (in real-time!) and effortless management of endpoint devices. As your organization considers its unique hybrid work strategy, use this list to make sure your IT operations are prepared for the modern workforce.
1. Secure your workers’ endpoints without a VPN
Endpoint security with a firewall and VPN is like catching water in a net, so make sure your VPN isn’t a critical point for securing your endpoints. Legacy patching platforms can only update systems and software on remote endpoints that are connected to the corporate network via VPN. As more and more companies begin untethering themselves from the constraints and security risks associated with VPNs, cloud-native solutions that allow you to update and patch any corporate endpoint that’s connected to the internet are becoming a much safer – and practical – bet for protecting your organization.
2. Adopt a 24/72 vulnerability remediation window
Today, attackers are weaponizing cyber vulnerabilities faster and more frequently than ever. A new report found that the average time to fix security vulnerabilities is now 205 days. That is more than enough time to wreak havoc and cost your company a fortune. The moment new critical vulnerabilities are reported sets off a race to see if you can patch them faster than adversaries can exploit them, and zero-day vulnerabilities are already weaponized at the moment of disclosure. To be safe, you need a platform that enables you to remediate critical vulnerabilities within 72 hours of their announcement and zero-day vulnerabilities within 24 hours.
3. Automate endpoint and patch management on devices not connected to your network
Patch management can be a thankless, time-consuming task that’s easy to fall behind on. Unpatched and misconfigured laptops are a huge concern for maintaining cyber hygiene, and remote laptops not connected to the corporate network for extended periods compound this problem. Make sure you can customize and automate both OS and third-party application updates or patches to all remote endpoints.
4. Make sure you have visibility and control of all your remote endpoints, regardless of location or OS
It’s difficult to automate policies for remote laptops you can’t see. Be sure you have a complete inventory of all hardware, software, patches, and configuration details for your remote endpoints. You’ll need a unified view of your remote laptops to identify misconfigured systems, discover missing patches, remediate patch vulnerabilities, deploy required software, and fix misconfigured systems across Windows, macOS, and Linux.
5. Take full command of your IT operations with fewer tools
For easy, unified command over your organization’s cyber hygiene, we recommend keeping it simple yet powerful with a single, cloud-native IT operations platform. When combined with leading security and IT management tools like CrowdStrike and FreshWorks – both of which easily integrate with Automox – your endpoint management lifecycle is covered.
- Did you know that 80% of industry peers agree that 80% endpoint management became more difficult due to remote work?
- How do cloud-native solutions accelerate IT efficiency for remote and hybrid work environments?
- Have you recently completed an IT environment assessment to reduce vulnerabilities?
About Automox Automated IT Operations
Facing growing cyber threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.
Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, macOS, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.
Experience cloud-native patch management today with a free demo of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface.