French companies stand to lose about €1.6 billion in 2020 alone due to cybersecurity incidents¹. Since the advent of digital technology, cyberattacks have been on the increase, leading CIOs to question the security of IT tools that are now more essential than ever for collaborative work. Today, the compromise is to adopt a platform that is both digitalized and secure. Many companies are thus choosing the digital workplace: a virtual workspace that brings together all the applications used by employees in the same place, thereby facilitating remote working.
This choice requires that data security issues be taken into serious account. Now let’s see how to reconcile the digital workplace and cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity, an essential issue
During this time of enduring lockdown, 85% of executives report they were ready to move to full telecommuting. However, 98% admit they have been caught off guard by the security issues they were faced with.
These are the conclusions of Tanium’s report “When the world stayed home“, a study conducted among French, English, American and German executives during lockdown.
The figures speak for themselves: 90% of managers have noted an increase in cyberattacks since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. As a result, 70% of CIOs are now making cybersecurity a priority.
Cybersecurity is therefore a key issue for companies, and even more so in the current context. Indeed, in many cases, teleworking offers hackers unexpected opportunities. Opportunities to be avoided as much as possible…
The digital workplace: security in question
The transition to a multiplication of digital uses is now inevitable. The digital workplace, a digitized office accessible anytime and anywhere, perfectly embodies this digital transformation. Moreover, it reflects the crucial security challenges posed by the digital world.
Even if there’s no question of depriving oneself of it—nor of giving in to paranoia—it’s certain that the digitalization of a company exposes it to risks against which it must learn to protect itself.
The company’s IT architecture must therefore be the subject of special security measures in order to:
- protect wifi connections
- protect wireline infrastructures
- secure the entire network and peripherals
- secure employee and company data
In addition, it may be a good idea to start thinking about where you store user data for your digital workplace. For example, data centers in France typically offer better control than data centers in other countries. If you invest in an American solution, it will be subject to the Cloud Act. This means your data will potentially be transmitted to U.S. authorities.
In short, while many companies rightly opt for a digital workplace, they must not ignore digital risks and should still take necessary security measures. This starts with raising employee awareness of cyber security issues.
Digital workplace and cybersecurity: the need to raise awareness
According to a 2020 CESIN study, cyberattacks now affect 80% of all companies. Phishing and fraud against CEOs are the most frequent attacks. However, almost all companies (98%) consider shadow IT—the use of applications not approved by the IT department—as the greatest cyber risk.
Also read: [Infographic] Shadow IT: a constant, imminent threat for companies
However, only 40% of companies claimed they’re prepared in case of a large-scale cyberattack. An incident that’s often linked to human error:
- 30% of companies report handling and configuration errors by an internal administrator
- 38% point to shadow IT practices
- 43% cite negligence, handling or configuration error on the part of an employee
With growing awareness of these risks, more and more companies are setting up a cyber-resilience program: 91% have already deployed it or are planning to do so.
Moreover, for 9 out of 10 companies, cloud storage tools are not enough to secure data. It’s therefore essential for them to acquire new solutions to protect themselves against cyber risks.
Also read: What are the best digital workplace solutions?
Finally, to drastically limit cyber risks, it’s essential to raise awareness and train employees in best digital security practices. It will also be necessary to make employees aware of their responsibilities, and in some cases to put in place procedures to check that recommendations are being applied.
By focusing on training and the implementation of secure solutions, it’s possible to reconcile the digital workplace and cybersecurity. However, the adoption of new tools often requires some time to adapt. To facilitate the transition to the digital workplace, companies should therefore not hesitate to seek support.
¹ Hiscox 2020 Report on Cyber Risk Management
Author: Paul Maubareyt