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Three ways modern workplaces can deliver stronger information security

An organisation’s security measures and protocols for data safety have always been important. But with growing digital transformation adoption and rising numbers of cyberattacks on businesses, it is becoming more important than ever to keep documents secure.

Three ways modern workplaces can deliver stronger information security

Additionally, organisational structure is changing with employees bringing their own devices to work and increased flexibility meaning employees may be working on different networks, which could create more vulnerabilities and make it harder to effectively secure data. 

While these factors make it tempting to avoid flexibility and stick to more traditional workplace structures and systems, modern workplace platforms, such as Microsoft Office 365, can be a lot more secure than you might first think. 

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) report on notifiable data breaches has revealed that over the first two quarters of 2019, there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of breaches experienced by Australian businesses. While the report does identify that some breaches were caused by human error, malicious cyberattacks were the most common causes of attack (61 per cent of the time).   

According to a recent Forrester report on the total economic impact of Microsoft Office 365 E5 licence, there are three reasons modern workplace platforms like Microsoft Office 365 are more secure than traditional platforms.

Inbuilt security features reduce the risk of a successful breach

According to the Ponemon Institute, it takes 279 days on average to identify and contain a breach. This delay in reporting and containing breaches can cost organisations large amounts of money due to lost customer business, loss of resources spent on communicating with affected third parties, as well as the loss of potentially confidential information.

With a modern workplace platform like Microsoft Office 365, the likelihood of a user-related security event is reduced by 75 per cent, according to the Forrester report. This is because of Microsoft’s inbuilt security systems that check for malicious activity and help you manage security more effectively across the board. This makes it less likely your business will take 279 days to detect a breach. Instead, you’re more likely to detect breaches before they have a chance to impact your business.

Faster remediation costs you less money and time

The Forrester report also found that Microsoft Office 365 greatly reduces the number of successful end user attacks because of the platform’s strong security features. Even if attacks are successful, the impact is less severe than it would have been in a more traditional workplace environment, meaning your organisation can remediate the breach quickly.

Furthermore, the Forrester report found that, before implementing Microsoft Office 365, organisations spent around 129 hours per end user on security event remediation. By contrast, Forrester estimated that organisations using Office 365 can reduce this by 89 hours per event to a total remediation time of 40 hours per event.

Put together, this means your business can get back to business as usual faster and more cost-effectively after a security event.

Reduced end user impact lets your team get back to work sooner after an attempted breach

Modern workplaces can reduce the end user impact and downtime as a result of attempted breaches. The Forrester report found that, prior to using Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDAPT) and other Microsoft 365 security solutions in modern workplaces, organisations had struggled to identify the scope of a cyberattack.

This made it difficult to remediate attacks and would often mean computers needed to be reimaged, which would cause further disruption as users would lose access to their computers. Ultimately this drove up unproductive time as users had to wait for the IT team to finish reconfiguring their computers due to the need to recreate lost data.

While IT teams are busy trying to get users back up and running, the users themselves are either wholly unproductive or have to use borrowed or temporary equipment. This can create security risks if the organisation isn’t set up for people to bring their own devices, or if the security measures in the workplace aren’t geared towards mitigating the risks of BYOD approaches.

A modern workplace platform like Microsoft Office 365 can be set up to provide visibility into the devices that join the network, ensuring those devices are properly segmented or secured so that they can’t create vulnerabilities.

Organisations looking to become more productive and competitive in the modern, collaborative, and flexible age need to consider implementing a modern workplace technology platform sooner rather than later.

While it’s understandable that some organisations may fear introducing a new and more flexible platform, the truth is that a modern workplace platform is arguably even more secure than traditional workplace set-ups. Through advanced security features in platforms such as Microsoft Office 365, your business can enjoy vastly stronger information security even while allowing BYOD and flexible work policies.

This post is part of the Modern Workplace blog series. At Empired we have great depth of experience in helping organisations on their journey to creating a modern workplace. Talk to us to find out how we can help you get started.

Your work, your way, securely

Posted by: Gavin van Niekerk, Principal Consultant | 09 December 2019

Tags: Security, Digital Workplace, Collaboration, Modern Workplace, #workyourwaysecurely, data security

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