Securing the New Age Workforce in Post-Pandemic Era

Matthew Lewis

“What Identity and Access Management (IAM) means for businesses in today’s complex digital world “

Matthew Lewis
Director of Product Marketing & Identity and
Access Management, HID Global


In today’s competitive and dynamic markets, organizations face numerous difficulties, such as adjusting to regulatory requirements, securing organizational needs, and implementing stronger security models. The expansive role of digitisation and rise of remote work has further pushed the need to adopt a holistic approach to securing identities while accessing data, infrastructure, and applications. This can range from zero-day threats bypassing conventional security models to the expansive role of digitization and rise of remote work.

Propelled by COVID-19, the global workforce had to relook at how remote work models function, thereby normalising distant work and adding a new dimension to professional engagement. According to a Frost & Sullivan analysis, organizations will not return to pre-pandemic operating models and will continue to adjust the remote and hybrid work model over time. Organizations are facing an increased requirement to implement new rules for securing work resources and secure data access points as this technology proves to be a game changer.

Several enterprises have seen a significant change in how they conduct business as a result of the global pandemic. In particular, technological implementations that were originally planned to take three to five years to complete are now commonly being adopted almost overnight.

The cloud is one of the major factors responsible behind the developments, with businesses increasingly recognising its importance in its technology infrastructure. However, as more businesses move to the cloud, the danger of malware assaults and data leaks increases, as well as new difficulties in achieving compliance.

The traditional security model has lost relevance over the past two year. Now, an organization’s security fence extends beyond on-premises networks with SaaS applications being leveraged for business, IoT devices being installed everywhere, and employees accessing corporate resources from various locations and networks.

So, what does it take for a corporation to migrate to the cloud while maintaining a secure foundation? Perhaps the most serious threat to organizational security is related to identity, necessitating the establishment of policies governing user authentication and validation. This helps in cases where users with higher privileges or dormant accounts become easy targets for infiltrating or launching a malicious attack into an organization.

future of work

Identity and Access Management (IAM), a critical component of a Zero Trust strategy, is designed to assist organizations in authenticating devices, technologies, and network infrastructure. This framework is based on features such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Single Sign-on (SSO), and granular permissions, which establishes data access privileges, secures access for cloud services, and protects critical login/entry points.

One of the most significant challenges in establishing Zero Trust is putting it into practice. This is because legacy security models often impede the transition to supporting remote work, making it difficult to retain legacy IT security tools and architecture.

To implement Zero Trust, organizations must assess workflows and business processes, as well as identify patterns in how users interact with those flows. This should lead to the implementation of appropriate controls in accordance with the identified risks to help secure the organization.

As a result, it is critical to consider the user experience throughout the planning and implementation process. In today’s world, users expect quick, easy access to applications, whether on their mobile devices or work systems. Another important point to remember is that a mismatch between an employee and a company’s critical systems can result in compromised security due to neglect, wrongful behaviour, or violations.

To determine implementation sequences and tools in line with the company’s risk profile, Zero Trust must be established based on organizational requirements and its industry. In 2022, cybersecurity will play a significant and growing role in boardroom agendas, with a focus on identity and authorization. Establishing identity-centric and minimal privilege access control, for example, may be preferable to micro-segmenting networks or enforcing Zero Trust network access across managed and unmanaged devices.

Faced with the complexity of managing identities in globally distributed companies, Zero Trust remains a lofty goal.

Creating a planned roadmap that takes into account the risks posed to your organization is a great first step. Partnership with vendors, whether for affiliating current technology with future goals or addressing multiple requirements at once, can also greatly simplify your journey.

According to a Gartner report, 30% of large organizations will have publicly shared their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals with a focus on cybersecurity by 2026, up from less than 2 percent in 2021. The goal is to improve security, but ultimately, companies want to deliver better business results, and Identity and Access Management (IAM) planning and governance is a big step along the way.


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