Despite COVID-19 making it necessary for people to work from home, it’s a part of pandemic life that won’t go away. More and more businesses aren’t making their employees come back to the office every day. Instead, they’re using hybrid models where employees can work from different places.
So, after the pandemic, security strategies must change. Because hybrid working is now the method of choice, this means that security must change. Businesses have already changed, and security must keep up with them. This means that modern services, like managed detection and response (MDR) and extended detection and response (XDR), should be use to help businesses and push the boundaries of modern cybersecurity.
Understanding the Security Risks of Hybrid Work
Despite the fact that most people have been working from home for more than 19 months, many businesses haven’t updated their cybersecurity strategies. This leaves their systems open to very skilled hackers. IT and security teams have a hard time managing security in remote and mixed environments. The perimeters have grown, cloud systems have been used, employees are working in uncontrolled environments, and the attack surface has grown.
In a more spread-out environment, the risks have changed. Cybersecurity risks go up when systems aren’t well-managed and aren’t properly protected. Many businesses have an architecture that makes it important for people to be in the office at some point to get updates, patches, and policies about their work. In a hybrid model, this isn’t enough, and cybersecurity systems need to be update to keep up with changes in working models and threats.
At the very least, this means not letting employees connect to work networks or use personal machines that don’t meet a certain level of security. The technology to solve these problems has been around for a long time. In recent years, this has moved to the cloud, which makes it easier to manage and grow.
Taking the Zero Trust Approach
If a business hasn’t already, it will also need to move to zero trust models that don’t trust anything, protect user identities and devices as well as network perimeters, and don’t trust anyone. Zero trust is not a new idea, but the mantra of not trusting anyone has been around for a long time. However, if you don’t do it the right way, putting in place an effective strategy in a hybrid environment isn’t always easy or useful.
An effective strategy is base on three simple rules: verify explicitly, use least privileged access, and always think there will be a breach. By assuming there is a breach, cybersecurity, IT, and OT teams can prevent and speed up detection by putting in controls like requiring all users and devices to be authenticate, using least privileged access, putting in read-only modes, and conducting real-time audits, among other things.
Optimizing the security of endpoints
To keep people working in a hybrid environment safe, they need to use a zero trust approach and an effective MDR strategy. This strategy combines human analysis, artificial intelligence, and automation to quickly detect, analyse, investigate, and respond to threats. When an MDR service is use, it can help you build a cost-effective reference security architecture that protects your operational technology (OT), your on-premise systems, your cloud-based applications, and your SaaS solutions. It also allows companies to quickly respond to new threats, which reduces cyber-risk and the time it takes for a breach to happen, no matter where it comes from.
If you’re in charge of IT or OT, you should think about technologies that can detect and respond to threats across endpoints, networks and web and email. These technologies are called extended detection and response (XDR). This means that all users, assets, and data are safe, no matter where the user lives.
By adding an extra layer of protection to zero trust technologies, XDR tools make it easier to manage the many different vendors in a typical SOC. This reduces the amount of time and money it takes to run multiple separate systems. Plus, when there are more gaps than overlaps in technology tools, security teams risk getting many false-positive alerts and becoming alert blind. Integrations of systems like endpoint detection and response, cloud access security broker, and SIEM, to name a few, make it easier to see more persistent or advanced threats that might have been missed before. This helps you find threats that might have gone undetected before.
Protecting your business after a pandemic
Businesses can’t be lazy because hybrid working is here to stay. IT and OT teams have a chance to rethink cybersecurity and put in place new technology that will not only keep things safe for years to come, but also give them a competitive advantage. Only if security teams adopt a zero-trust approach and use proactive and intelligent cybersecurity services like MDR, which are based on XDR technology, can they stay one step ahead of cybercriminals in the new working environment.