Secure by design: the golden opportunity

Excerpt from SC Insights | Dispersed by design

Working from home has directly led to increased cyber risk across every sector; opportunities for breach have simply multiplied.

So how should organisations weigh up this enhanced desire for work-life balance with their fundamental necessity to responsibly protect information assets? It wouldn’t be unfounded to predict that the gap will widen, in the short term at least. In our debut edition of SC Insights, Managing Director, Lou Mahanty reflects on whether the risk that the gap between what the business wants to do, and security enabling it to happen, is really one for concern.

i. Break it down

“For organisations whose main interest is migrating to the cloud, the starting point is to understand what represents their most valuable information. Many haven’t already done this, and many have great difficulty because they lack the sort of structure that features data or information owners.”

Does your organisational structure make it easy to identify your most valuable data assets? Assigning information owners is the first step towards a safe and simple cloud migration.

“The smaller you break it down, the easier it is to look at security.”

We recognise that the bigger the organisation, the more political it can become to assign responsibility at this level. Partitioning off key bits of data and information is critical to this process. Most importantly, have patience; though the process isn’t quick, it’s an investment that pays off in terms of protecting your customer, company and colleague data, as well as your reputation.

ii. Don’t provide a poor second

Setting up your virtual environment for success has topped the agenda for a number of months now. But what about your physical office space?

“For individuals, you’ve got a whole different set of issues, from kids or housemates to no dedicated workspace at home, to living in an area with poor WiFi. Each group of individuals have very specific issues that must be addressed, and there’s no simple or fast solution for that.”

Isolation and remote working has affected us all in very individual ways, too, but it’s fair to say the younger generation has suffered in comparison to the more mature workforce, who have already experienced their early career in the office.

“I think the worst case hybrid scenario would be to replace your main place of work where you meet and develop relationships with people, with gravitating to temporary offices that offer little more than a different place to sit.”

In spring we published commentary on the Legal IT Landscapes survey results, observing a clear disconnect between perception of cyber risk and desire to adopt technology in an industry traditionally reluctant to embrace digitisation. Is your new hybrid office space conducive to working and operating in a secure and sociable way? Make sure you match your investment in online workspaces with providing both space and a place where your colleagues will feel supported as we ride the next wave of post-pandemic change.

Certified for growth

Expanding on our insight into the legal sector, notably around 70% of law firms claim to have factored the government-backed Cyber Essentials certification scheme to protect against the vast majority of common cyber attacks into future plans. However, most decision-makers have yet to act upon or realise the potential this investment also delivers, and we’re confident this isn’t limited to lawyers.

Supporting a better-informed attitude towards associated cyber risks with topical predictions for future ways of working tops our agenda. We believe there’s work to be done to make cyber security fundamentally more accessible to decision-makers across a multitude of sectors. The commercial benefits are undeniable – implementing the Cyber Essentials Plus framework or ISO27001, the International Standard for Information Security, for example, doubles as an opportunity to differentiate in a market where survey respondents highlight that ‘firms just like theirs in their geographies’ represent the second biggest commercial threat in the next five years.

With one eye on the future, now is the time to leverage this window for change because now is the time when organisations’ colleague-led decisions will stand out more than ever, likely influencing market positions in the mid to long-term. Demonstrate your security toolset is relevant and ready to enable your people, processes and technology to be secure by design.

Keen to ensure you’re being noticed for the right reasons? Get in touch with our expert team today for support with securing your hybrid working model.