Post COVID-19: Distributed Workforces Are Here to Stay

Welcome to the Twilight Zone… where offices no longer exist, everyone works from home, and toilet paper is the hottest commodity. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but we are now beginning to realize that what had started as a short- term fix to keep employees safe has transformed into a more permanent solution for business operations.

Organizations that were initially reluctant to embrace remote work have been forced to accelerate their adoption of a distributed workforce and are starting to realize the cost benefits that come with a portion of the workforce being remote.

It seems this trend will continue to pick up steam, even post COVID-19. According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner, nearly 75% of finance leaders surveyed are looking to permanently transition at least 5% of their workforce to a distributed model. Some said they would likely keep far more than 5% of their workforce operating in a remote capacity.

Remote Workforce post-COVID 19

Future-Proofing Your Endpoint Security

With organizations rethinking how business is conducted, operational teams supporting these organizations must be cognizant of the increase in risk that comes from inefficient solutions being exposed during this time. While cost benefits highlight the primary advantage that comes with this type of shift, some of the disadvantages are surfacing in the form of increased exposure across a more distributed network. Temporary and unsustainable fixes to support the operational needs of remote workers will eventually fall short and lead to either a costly breach or a drop in productivity, neither of which is desirable.

Companies will forge on with remote work becoming a more long-term fixture, and security and IT operations now have to shift their thinking from how to weather the storm for the immediate future to whether or not they’re equipped to sustain this new norm indefinitely. This requires streamlining internal processes and finding efficiencies for managing risk across a growing number of remote workers.

The most effective approach to not only manage, but reduce risk is to prioritize operational activities that provide the largest impact in the shortest amount of time. If you had the ability to reduce 80% of your security risk in a fraction of the time that it would take to address the other 20%, which would you prioritize first? This has been the ongoing reality for ITOps and SecOps teams, yet many still choose to focus the majority of their time and resources on reactive solutions instead of implementing proactive solutions that can immediately dissolve 80% of their risk.

Cloud-Based Efficiency for a Remote Workforce

While COVID-19 has presented significant challenges to just about every business, it has also provided an opportunity for businesses to recognize the benefits of implementing more efficient and secure ways to operate. Many companies can no longer afford to maintain inefficient solutions that require a significant amount of IT resources to manage, especially if those solutions create downstream issues for security operations.

With the quick transition to a distributed workforce, IT and security infrastructure has come to the forefront as a significant factor in many business decisions. This has provided a greater means of justification for operations teams to pivot to more efficient solutions (think cloud-based solutions) that minimize resource consumption while bolstering organizational security. Several items to consider when determining the impact of such solutions include:

  • Hardware, infrastructure, and peripheral applications required to operationalize
  • Amount of time and resources needed for deployment and training
  • Hours of labor required for ongoing management

COVID-19 will not be the last business-disrupting event to occur, so it’s important to decide how to react to these scenarios in a way that ensures an outcome where you’re stronger and more resilient in the end. The tools exist to make this outcome a reality, but it’s crucial to leverage these challenging events to find ways to work smarter, not harder.

About Automox Automated Patch Management

Facing growing 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.

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