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Beachhead Solutions 2021 Predictions: Device and Data Security Will Need to Catch Up to the WFH Era in 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Device and Data Security Will Need to Catch Up to the WFH Era in 2021

By Cam Roberson, Vice President - Sales & Channel, Beachhead Solutions

Many businesses moved security to the backburner in 2020, as IT departments prioritized keeping employees functioning in a year that...well, probably needs no further explanation. But with 2021 hopefully giving us all an opportunity to move on, device and data security processes now need to play catch up. Remote work is here to stay, regulations around data and device security are intensifying, and even businesses who rely on managed service providers for security are looking to get more hands-on access to tools that mitigate threats.

With an eye to device and data security, here's what the next year has in store:

1) Remote work isn't going away, and security practices will start catching up in 2021.

In 2020, work-from-home policies were hastily cobbled together in an attempt to minimize productivity inefficiencies from the near-instant change in environment. This WFH shift will outlast the pandemic, but businesses must evolve their security practices to address the heightened risks that distributed workplaces present.

Allowing employee-used devices to travel beyond the confines of a centralized office increases the risks of those devices being lost or stolen. Employees may also be more likely to become casual in their security hygiene, failing to adequately protect login credentials, or even doing things like allowing family members to use their work devices in the name of convenience. Remote employees (or other "users") are also at greater risk of falling for phishing and personally-targeted spearphishing attacks, due to the simple fact that they cannot clear up false information face-to-face.

Look for businesses to go beyond the data encryption, access controls, anti-virus and malware solutions, VPNs, and other safeguards they should already have in place, and add effective new security capabilities built for remote work environments. For example, two-factor authentication (2FA) will become far more commonplace for WFH employees over the next year. 2FA enables businesses and employees to more closely enforce device security, thwarting data breaches in scenarios where device access and data would otherwise be exposed. Similarly, expect businesses to introduce geofencing-based security technology to protect their devices. With geofencing solutions, security administrators can receive alerts if a device has traveled outside the approved proximity of an employee's remote workspace, and revoke data access from the device if prudent.

2) Businesses will address regulatory compliance requirements by streamlining self-auditing processes.

As data security regulations grow increasingly strict, businesses will implement processes that can give them audit-grade records designed to prove that fully compliant security measures are always in place. Those that fail to pursue this path risk their lack of provable compliance becoming a major source of pain down the road, in the unfortunate event that a data breach occurs. In the current environment, devastating compliance enforcement penalties are waiting in the wings for businesses unable to demonstrate all required safeguards and practices.

Modern streamlined self-auditing processes neutralize this risk by producing a comprehensive record of all security measures actively protecting data, ready to be handed over to auditors if the need arises. Expect more businesses to adopt these provable compliance practices throughout 2021; they're available and the value is clear.

3) Larger businesses working with MSPs will seek co-managed IT services (CoMITs) options for more efficient control over IT solutions.

MSPs that provide CoMITs enable their clients to share in the management of the solutions they rely on, and do so within a safe and secure framework of expert oversight. It's a newer trend that figures to accelerable throughout 2021 and is most appropriate for larger companies with capable internal IT teams, offering businesses the access needed to make timely independent decisions. Around data security, for example, businesses leveraging CoMITs have learned that the greater number of eyes watching over data and the option to take quicker action when necessary can make the difference in resolving or mitigating security anomalies. Tying this practice back to the increasing prevalence of businesses with distributed workplaces, CoMITs will increase the capabilities and options for these businesses to manage those workplaces in the most beneficial manner.


About the Author


Cam Roberson is Vice President - Sales & Channel for San Jose-based Beachhead Solutions, which provides a PC and Mobile Device encryption service platform for businesses and MSPs across industries.

Published Tuesday, December 22, 2020 7:14 AM by David Marshall
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