By now, we’re all familiar with the fact that the world of work has undergone dramatic change over the past two years. The abrupt office closures and large-scale shift to remote work that took place in 2020 were followed by a period of re-evaluation and self-scrutiny. According to the Microsoft 2022 Work Trend Index, a study of more than 31,000 employees in 33 countries, an astonishing 43% of the global workforce is considering leaving their jobs in the coming year.
What do these employees want? According to a recent Gallup poll, a significant majority (61%) are looking for better work-life balance and a job that supports their personal well-being. For many—but not all—of them, this means flexibility, so that people can work whenever and wherever they’re most productive. A full 40% of U.S. employees say that they’d start looking for another job or quit immediately if ordered to return to the office full time. Still, more than half of employees would prefer to work on-site at least sometimes.
One constant that’s clear in the midst of all these changes: whether employees are fully remote, hybrid or mostly in-office, tomorrow’s ways of working will demand new cybersecurity strategies. Although the move to the cloud was already underway before the COVID-19 pandemic sped up its progress, today’s business IT ecosystems incorporate more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, more cloud resources and more endpoints outside the network perimeter than ever before, and there’s no going back.
At the same time, many organizations have made investments in and progress towards remote work enablement. For many security leaders, it feels as if the network perimeter has finally and fully dissolved within the last year or so. And end users’ expectations are different now: whether they want to work at the airport, on a plane or from a long-term vacation rental, people expect that they’ll be able to access business applications seamlessly anytime and anywhere.
We have four basic recommendations for stakeholders who want to increase their organizations’ cyber resilience as they strive to accommodate increasingly agile and flexible ways of working.