As technologies have evolved and cyber threats along with them, IT teams and managed service providers (MSPs) have continually implemented new security protocols to protect sensitive company data and enhanced them to keep sensitive apps and confidential data secure. But all too often, leaders don’t consider the impact these efforts have on user productivity and user behavior.
In fact, 71% of employed Americans (full and part-time) have done something to get around their company’s IT policy or procedures in order to be more productive and efficient at their job, according to a recent Venn/Harris Poll study*. Even further, 11% of those surveyed admitted to having accidentally engaged in an email phishing attempt by opening, clicking, or responding to an illegitimate email.
That’s the Security/Workaround Paradox in action — The more security protocols your IT team puts in place, the more users will find workarounds to stay productive.
Additional survey findings include:
- 25% have used the same or very similar password across multiple logins
- 26% conducted work activities while using “free” Wi-Fi in a public location
- 33% have used their personal device for work activities
- 23% have used their work device for personal activities
While each individual violation may represent a relatively low risk, the findings underscore a perilous trend facing IT decision makers and MSPs. Companies can implement the newest and safest platforms in an effort to keep information safe, but without employee and end-user compliance, the risk of a cyber attack will always remain high. As more and more protocols are introduced that require multiple steps and layers, users are going be less willing to cooperate.
The new mode of work demands new solutions
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the entire working landscape sending companies into fully remote workspaces. With so many employees working off-site and in unrestricted locations, the opportunity for cyber attacks skyrocketed. In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 242,000 complaints of phishing, vishing, smishing and pharming crimes – a 110% increase from 2019.
This new mode of modern work has created holes in even the most protected companies’ armor. With high-profile cyber attacks making mainstream news headlines like the Colonial Pipeline breach, workers are more attuned to the breadth of cyber attacks but there’s still a gap when it comes to proactively protecting their own companies’ data.
Legacy VDI tools come up short
A key part of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy must be focused on making security easy and understandable for employees – and should account for their downfalls. For companies seeking tightened security, the systems and platforms they utilize must be compatible with employees to ensure effective defense. Legacy virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) once showed promise as a way for businesses to help employees keep information secure when not working in the office. But as technology has advanced, VDIs have grown obsolete and shown that they are no longer capable of solving the paradox.
In today’s working world, people rely even more on connectivity and need their devices to keep up with the fast-paced nature of remote work and to help them complete tasks efficiently. Legacy VDI has failed to keep up with the video conferencing tools of today’s remote work landscape with bad Zoom lag times and deteriorating network connection.
Empower users with local solutions
With all the cybersecurity threats in today’s digital landscape, providing a safe and secure platform that allows users to work how they want is the key to keeping data safe. The only way to truly ensure productivity, protection and privacy in the modern mode of work is to empower users to work locally.
Genuine local solutions allow users to access applications, SaaS platforms, files and data natively without relying on VDI or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) resources. They leverage the power and flexibility of modern devices and their local browser-, desktop- or mobile-based applications to eliminate compatibility and performance issues.
As the line between work and life has blurred, so have the ways employees use their work and personal devices. Those Americans surveyed who blend activities on work and personal devices are unlikely to change their behavior – even if they commit to doing so. It’s how they work most effectively – and organizations should make every effort to support that.
LocalZone delivers on user-first while staying local
Venn has developed the industry’s first Virtual Desktop Alternatives (VDA) that delivers centralized management and critical information security with a local approach. This VDA — powered by LocalZone –allows users to toggle between work and life seamlessly all while keeping company data safe and personal data private.
LocalZone’s breakthrough technology separates work applications, data and files from personal computing resources on the same device through isolation techniques that allow work and life to securely co-exist. For remote employees, the flexibility of VDA allows them to perform work tasks securely with minimal disruption. By implementing VDA, companies can bolster their defense against cyber attacks while making sure employees aren’t slowed down by stringent security protocols.