Map your organization’s journey to secure access

Map your organization’s journey to secure access

Map your organization’s journey to secure access

Dean Hager was the Managing Director of Jamf.

Many organizations struggle to protect sensitive corporate data while embracing the new realities of empowering employees to “work anywhere” because it often seems like the two goals are at odds. For organizations that just want employees to love their technology and feel more productive at work, just let them use whatever technology they want with few security or oversight restrictions! For organizations that simply want a highly secure workplace, lock down your staff’s devices, apps, capabilities, connectivity, time and location! Easy, right?

We all know that neither is an acceptable solution for the modern workplace. How can organizations create an environment where employees love their work technology and where organizations trust all access?

Understand the concept of “work anywhere” and how it is changing IT and security teams.

Deloitte noted in 2018 that 70% of workers do not sit behind a desk. By 2020, 85% of respondents to an AllCloud survey expected the majority of their workloads to migrate to the cloud. Because of these changes, users want to choose the devices they work from; in fact, we found that 89% of users said they were willing to make salary sacrifices for device choice. It’s clear that the widespread adoption of “work anywhere” and cloud computing is redefining the modern workplace.

Today, organizations are increasingly implementing formal programs to adapt to new ways of working with support for diverse device fleets that combine BYOD, company-owned devices, and a handful of different operating systems. However, these diverse fleets of devices don’t fit neatly into existing security workflows with solutions that don’t balance security and privacy well. For example, current solutions for corporate-owned devices are too intrusive for a BYOD user. Organizations should adopt a modern, privacy-respecting approach to ensure that only authorized users on enrolled devices that are free of threats have access to sensitive business applications and data and apply this approach consistently across all of the fleet of devices.

Break down the silos between teams and technology.

Historically, IT and security teams had many competing goals. With “work anywhere,” these teams need to be more in sync than ever. It can be difficult for security teams to quickly respond to threat alerts when an organization relies on a variety of device management, identity, and security tools that different teams implement and maintain.

Proceed to decategorize the products you need. Don’t try to tick off a list of alphabet soup ingredients like IAM, MDM, and MTD and hope they all work together. Instead, start by tearing down the walls between IT and security teams so they can work together to find a holistic way to achieve the trusted access outcome. With management, security, identity, and access talking to each other, IT and security teams can automate workflows so that once a trusted user is working productively on the device its choice, the security tools can identify a threat and immediately ask the management tool to act. on the device to remediate the threat to quickly get the user back into a productive state.

Stop buying a product and buy a result instead.

The solution to this problem does not lie in a new product category; it resides in a result that I like to call “secure access”. Trusted access is not a well-defined term, but I recognize it as a desired outcome of enrolled devices remaining safe from threats and seamlessly connecting authorized users to applications. By focusing on the outcome, we stop looking at technologies in silos. For example, no customer wants a Mobile Threat Defense result; they want authorized users on a mobile device free from mobile threats, with secure access to the apps they need to be productive from anywhere. There are five key pillars to gaining reliable access.

1. Authorized and Verified Devices.

2. Authorized and Verified Users.

3. Research and prevention of device security threats.

4. Secure connectivity to applications and data.

5. Automatic vulnerability patching.

It’s possible to get reliable access with a few trusted vendors who specialize in each of these areas, but where many organizations go wrong is by allowing teams to go out separately and buy multiple new products from different suppliers that were not designed to coexist. This can lead to inconsistent controls across devices, a disjointed user experience, and a complex environment to manage.

The ultimate IT admin and end-user experience can be unlocked when you find a set of solutions that can holistically integrate and deliver all of these pillars. A holistic approach to secure access can ensure that end-user disruption is minimized while streamlining administration to deliver maximum performance and functionality as product capabilities evolve. Additionally, end users can get the desired powerful technology experience without having to interface with various applications interrupting them with reauthentication prompts and disjointed alerts.

If organizations gain trusted access by applying lockdown restrictions to users, organizations will become Following vulnerable, no less. To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum’s character in jurassic park, “Nature will find a way.” In this case, “nature” is your labor force. If IT and security teams don’t provide a way, employees will find a way that makes the organization less secure.

Adopting and implementing secure access is a journey that takes time, and many organizations may need to take a phased approach to implementing all aspects of secure access. As long as you make these purchases with the outcome of trusted access in mind, each added layer can increase your trust in that user and device accessing business resources. By bringing together the best in management, identity, endpoint protection, and access, organizations can deliver a great work-from-anywhere experience that users love and organizations trust.

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