It used to be that businesses controlled how their staff used and accessed data in the workforce by simple physical proximity: users came to work and accessed networks on company devices, and that was that. In today's more diverse workforce, people want to be able to work remotely and access their resources at any time without coming into the office.
Many companies allow or encourage workers to use their own devices, which makes it even tougher to regulate access and ensure consistent security for company data and networks. Microsoft’s new Azure cloud computing tools provide solutions to many of these modern issues.
How Has the Cloud Changed the Workplace?
Many organizations are realizing it can be advantageous to use cloud computing and hybrid cloud solutions.
- Storing data in cloud-based storage can be safer, more convenient, and more cost effective than using traditional storage methods.
- Purchasing access to software on a per-user subscription basis rather than in hard copy (as in a PCaaS arrangement) allows businesses to adjust software spending to fit the needs of ever-changing workforces while effortlessly staying 100% up to date with the latest versions and upgrades.
- Allowing employees to use their own devices reduces the costs of purchasing and maintaining hardware while allowing employees to choose the devices they prefer.
All these advances, however, can come with the cost of diminished security.
What Are the Risks of a Remote Workforce?
Before the advent of the remote workforce, companies could easily control access to data by keeping files on company servers that were accessible only on in-house computers and devices. Now that users have other options to access workplace data and programs, either by logging into the company network remotely or by accessing data and programs stored in the cloud, security has become more complicated.
It’s necessary to ensure that any access is as secure from a remote internet connection, which can involve many different potential weak points (like an insecure connection or weak encryption), as it traditionally was from an on-site connection. Human weaknesses are also a significant security risk: workers may leave their devices unsecured, use bad passwords, or download data from a secure network to non-secure local storage devices or machines so they can work more conveniently or without an internet connection. This exposes a company to the risk of data loss, breach, or theft in the event that a non-secure machine containing confidential data is lost, stolen, or otherwise improperly accessed.
How Can Azure Help Reduce the Risks?
Azure is a comprehensive set of cloud services that allow businesses to build, deploy, and manage their own applications using Microsoft’s global network of data centers. The Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) component takes a holistic approach to the security challenges posed by an increasingly remote workforce. This new technology allows businesses to classify, label, and appropriately protect data at the time of its creation or modification. This protection travels with the data regardless of where it is stored, with whom it is shared, or the operating system running on the device used to access it. Azure offers simple, intuitive controls to help you manage how data is accessed, shared, and stored by users, starting with “front door” access control and detection of vulnerabilities and attacks before they can cause damage.
This comprehensive package of cloud security solutions is a game changer, especially for companies with fewer than 50 employees. It’s also easily implemented and extremely affordable. If your company struggles to manage its remote workforce security, contact the professionals at Dymin to discuss Azure and our complete package of managed IT solutions. Can you afford not to?