COVID-19 has irreversibly changed the way almost every business process is done, and IT management is no exception.
IBM found that the pandemic accelerated digital transformation at 59% of the organizations surveyed. Businesses had to create a complex digital landscape composed of cloud-based technology, personal devices and automated solutions to support a newly remote workforce. In some instances, these IT assets were deployed virtually overnight to make as swift a transition as possible.
Moving forward, many of these rapidly-made adjustments will become a permanent fixture across organizations. Even the most experienced support team may struggle when it comes to remotely monitoring and maintaining their complete hardware and software inventory. For companies looking ahead to a post-pandemic world, there are several key considerations to be factored into a successful IT management policy.
A mixed asset environment
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the majority of the integral components that existed within an organization’s systems were housed internally. Those once simple IT asset environments are now spread across personal devices and residential Wi-Fi connections, complicating best practices and policy.
As of today, nearly half of the U.S. workforce is logging on from home and a study from Upwork found that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely — an 87% percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. The National Institute of Standards and Technology warns that companies who have remote employees should always assume that malicious parties will attempt to gain control of telework client devices. Not only will hackers try to access the devices themselves, but they may also attempt to recover sensitive data from them or leverage the technology as a backdoor to gain access to the enterprise network.
Regardless of the security risk, companies are continuing to make the permanent switch to a work-from-home structure or are at least working to maintain a hybrid environment post-COVID. For those who opt into this transition, the Society for Human Resource Management emphasizes a need to create a formulated business continuity plan that features a focus on strong IT asset management. The SHRM highlights key considerations for companies and their IT teams to address as they make this leap, including:
- Setting up and communicating remote-work security policies
- Securing virtual private networks (VPNs)
- Regulating personal-device use
- Addressing authorization and authentication
- Communicating with employees about phishing and malware campaigns tailored to the current crisis.
Failing to create and maintain policies related to all of the above aspects of IT asset management puts organizations at a greater risk of being exposed to breaches, hacking and theft. However, IT support teams’ resources have already become increasingly strained within the past year as a result of configuring systems to support the new workforce.
Remote-access to corporate networks and personal devices are exposing organizations to more external threats, but organizations who fail to offer WFH risk losing valuable talent to competitors who are. So, how can companies better protect their corporate network environments while still supporting a remote workforce in a post-COVID world?
Employing security solutions
Gartner writes that future IT asset management programs will focus on cost management, increased agility and the reduced risk of both breaches and non-compliance.
An emphasis on improved security and reduced cost directly correlates with a rise in work-from-home related risks as well as the expenses associated with attacks on corporate networks.
CSO Online reports a 10% rise in the cost of data breaches over the past five years, which includes IT’s time and effort spent managing the attack itself as well as customer churn, bad publicity and regulatory fines. While organizations who take a proactive stance have been better managing incidents, those who take a more reactive approach spend an average of $3.68 million trying to recover.
By employing Faronics’ ITAM solution, IT teams can easily control their full asset inventory through dynamic widgets and intelligent reports. This will give your staff comprehensive insights into the deployment and usage of assets and empower them to quickly identify any irregular use cases. Users can also remotely push software updates to personal devices being used on the corporate network, ensuring all patches are up-to-date and following best security policies.
In the event a breach does occur, our patented Deep Freeze reboot-to-restore technology can help. Users have full autonomy and can immediately reboot their device to the default configuration settings created by IT. This ensures 100% workstation recovery upon restart, ensuring data security while minimizing cost and downtime.
Whether your organization is just beginning to take its first steps toward supporting a remote workforce or if you already have mature policy in place, Faronics can help clients realize better security, increased efficiencies and significant cost savings.
If you are interested in our products or would like to learn more, contact us today.