That might suggest IT departments ought to be glad to get employees back in the office, where they can better control what’s going on online. Not necessarily. During a webcast I tuned into last week the chief information security officers of three Canadian organizations said they expect their firms will continue to urge people to work from home even when the pandemic ends.
CISOs are the people who head the cybersecurity teams. The CISO at a hospital said non-medical staff working from home means fewer people risking their health.
The CISO of a bank said working from home should be less stressful for staff because they can take a break from work during the day and be with family, or take a jog. A company that rents and sells heavy equipment said a work-from-home policy will allow her to employ skilled people from around the world she hire couldn’t before because they had to be in a city where her firm had an office.
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So the increase in people working from home seems to be permanent. However, it will mean two things: First, organizations will have to toughen their cybersecurity policies to deal with the increased risks of employees using their own computers. There is management software that allows the IT department to control what applications are on computers that connect to the enterprise and ensure everything has the latest patches.
And IT will have to make sure all the applications allowing remote access to the organization are locked down. For their part, employees will have to be smarter and safer using computers from home. Just as bad as an outbreak of an infectious disease is an outbreak of data breaches.