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The future of work depends on cybersecurity 

The future of work depends on cybersecurity 

Digital transformation has changed the way we work. Employees now expect flexible workstyles, and technology is at the center of enabling this flexibility. One critical area of this modern workspace shift that cannot be overlooked is cybersecurity. 
When most people worked from an office, the boundaries for cybersecurity were clear. Now, with work from anywhere, there’s a constant flux of proprietary data across clouds and remote environments. Consequently, your organization’s potential attack surface grows. The more agile you want to become, the more you need to prioritize security.
But many organizations are uncertain where to begin. The Dell Technologies Breakthrough study shows a greater emphasis is needed on both cybersecurity awareness and technology processes. Based on 10,500 respondents from 40+ countries, more than half of workers admit they haven’t substantially improved their security awareness and behavior, even after hearing about high-profile cyber-attacks. 
With nearly two-thirds of Breakthrough survey respondents saying their employees are the weakest link in their security approach, building cybersecurity accountability is critical. A key element of modern security practice is cultural buy-in, and cultural change isn’t easy. Building a culture of security and driving behavioral change requires a combination of technical processes and organizational training. 

Protecting data and systems

The first step to modernizing your cybersecurity approach is to rethink how you protect your data and systems everywhere, whether on-premises, across clouds, or at the edge. Protecting personal devices and endpoints has historically consisted of identifying and reacting to known threats and, therefore, treacherous. Every device and process you adopt at your organization should ideally be designed for security as a baseline. If modern security features are already built-in to the hardware, firmware, and security controls, then your foundation is ahead of the game. In parallel, look for ways to automate foundational security elements, reducing the need for manual involvement. 
While organizations depend on IT infrastructure to stay productive, it’s important to remember that each system can introduce vulnerabilities. You need to extend cybersecurity through your entire ecosystem: servers, storage, networking, and even securing development lifecycles and the supply chain. Consider embedding dedicated security professionals across your products and services teams. They can advocate for elevated security postures and help integrate security controls consistently across your different systems.
Holistic security also means evaluating your internal processes and ensuring the highest level of security for your customers. Adopt an end-to-end approach, with consistent objectives and scalable policy application. With these security safeguards architected into your environment, there’s less need to adopt, learn, and manage the dozens, or even hundreds, of third-party products typical in today’s environments.

Applying a Zero Trust architecture

Zero Trust is rapidly becoming the globally accepted best practice for cybersecurity architecture. Unlike past security models which verify a user, device or compute task once or even periodically, Zero Trust is based on the notion that no user or task be given implied trust, but that every interaction should be verified before proceeding. You can apply this authenticate-every-step model across your organization’s network, IT infrastructure, software, and microservices. 
With a Zero Trust approach, a virtual micro perimeter is created around every interaction. Each gateway a cybercriminal attempts to pass through requires authentication. Even if a threat actor crosses one perimeter, they're unable to extend the breach any further. Deny-by-default security protocols help protect your data, your employees' trust, and your relationships with customers. Zero Trust additionally allows users or requests within a system the least privilege access, thereby reducing the risk each interaction presents.

Achieving cyber resiliency

While every precaution should be taken to prevent a cyberattack, the sheer number and growing sophistication of today’s threats means organizations must have a robust plan in place to deal with an attack getting through. Cyber resiliency means an organization can recover data and resume normal operations after an attack quickly, while limiting the financial and operational impacts. A critical step for enhancing resiliency is to isolate critical data into vaults, which are segregated from networks. 
The complex, multicloud environment that most organizations run today can make this challenging. Solutions like managed services for cyber recovery can operate data vaults on behalf of their clients, reducing cost and the demands on the IT team. And if an organization prefers to run its own data protection and recovery operation, a variety of products and appliances are specifically designed for this purpose.

Building a security culture

Underlying all these important cybersecurity tools, you should also improve your entire organization’s awareness and accountability for dealing with cyber threats. Train your employees to understand that security is everyone’s job, not just a function of the security team. Arm your team members with the right knowledge and training so they can make the right decisions. 
Securing your business technologies and building trust with those that depend on them has never been more critical. Digital transformation keeps pushing us to move faster, but the price of leaving cybersecurity behind is high. Technology can make this task easier on you and your teams, and it starts with evaluating your current efforts. Take the time to check how you manage risks across your IT ecosystem. Cybersecurity and resiliency must progress at the same pace as digital transformation to provide a solid foundation for protecting your people and your business while embracing the future of work. 
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