Supporting remote workers is a challenge in terms of security and compliance.

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By PeterLogan

IT professionals face two major challenges: ensuring remote employees adhere to new controls and maintaining security on remote endpoints.

Organizations had to swiftly transition to remote work environments after the coronavirus pandemic. This rapid change created many challenges. Many of these challenges still exist two years later, with hybrid workers becoming more common. Workpot, a cloud platform provider, released Tuesday a report that examines the impact of remote workers on cybersecurity and other areas in many organizations.

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Workspot asked Dimensional Research, a market research firm, to conduct a survey of 304 IT professionals regarding their remote workforce for its report “The State of Remote Work 2022. A Survey of End User Computing Decision Makers.” All respondents were responsible for remote work and end-user computing in companies with more 200 desktops.

Virtually all respondents acknowledged difficulties in supporting remote workers. Security was the most prominent challenge, with 71% pointing out issues in maintaining security across multiple work environments.

60% cited the second challenge as being to ensure remote employees comply with new controls. As mentioned by 59%, the next challenge was to ensure that remote employees are compliant with new controls.

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Other challenges include managing data on local devices, enabling team collaboration, acquiring and delivering hardware for remote workers and supporting changing network requirements. Handling increased calls to help desks, managing increased calls, identifying and delivering apps that meet the needs of remote workers and creating productive technology environments.

The respondents highlighted several challenges that they have faced when securing remote workers. 67% of respondents said that security has become more complex due to the increased perimeter. 54% stated that it is harder to protect user devices from outside the corporate firewall. 51% said it was difficult to assess risk in unknown environments. 48% claimed that it is more difficult to use identity management tools to verify authorization and authentication.

IT budgets must adapt to the changing landscape of hybrid and remote work. When asked which area of the budget they would increase this year, 92% responded with security. 78% of respondents cited cloud infrastructure, while 75% referred to cloud services.

Collaboration tools, productivity solutions and employee environments (audio/video, etc.) are some of the other areas that will see an increase in funding. Virtual desktop infrastructure (on-premises and cloud-based), and user experience monitoring.

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Many IT professionals acknowledged difficulties supporting remote workers despite budget increases. When asked if they have enough resources to provide this kind of support, 30% answered that they do. However, 37% of respondents said they had enough, but not enough. 26% stated that they don’t have enough and 6% said they lack the resources.

Amitabh Sinha, co-founder of Workspot and CEO of Workspot, stated in a press release that “IT leaders still face many challenges in today’s new workplace paradigm but they have discovered the power of cloud computing.” To support the “anywhere” workforce, it is important to make cloud migration, VDI modernization, and SaaS application implementation mainstream strategies. This will allow future-oriented organizations to evolve for many years.

Jimmy Chang, chief product officer at Workspot, offers these tips to help organizations deal with security issues that can arise for remote workers.

A zero-trust strategy is recommended. You will not trust anyone inside or outside your organization without being properly verified. It is important to protect your data and to set up strong controls so that contractors and employees can only access the information they need.

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Consider cloud PCs. Cloud PCs allow for central management of the OS, security patches, and the removal of sensitive data from endpoints. They are also able to improve security for BYOD environments as well as other unmanaged devices.