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Zero Trust and Holistic Security for the Hybrid Workplace Era

This is post part of our Cybersecurity Awareness Month Series.

James Carder

James Carder, CISO at Eptura:

"In the spirit of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, business leaders must be mindful to secure their workplaces, whether that workplace is remote, in an office, or a hybrid model. Return-to-office (RTO) mandates have been gaining momentum post-Labor Day, signaling a shift in the way organizations approach work in a post-pandemic world. Three years after the onset of the pandemic, businesses are still grappling with security concerns as they navigate the challenge of securing employees working from various locations and devices. Despite the hesitations around mandated RTO, Eptura’s Q2 Workplace Index report found that the reality is that 79% of employees live within commuting distance of their workplace. A flexible work approach is emerging as the norm, with employees having the freedom to work from various locations. Business leaders need to recognize that this shift necessitates a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that bridges the gap between physical and digital security.

One key consideration for business leaders is the adoption of a Zero Trust security model. Zero Trust ensures that only trusted identities (people, places, and assets, etc.) gain access to corporate resources and data, regardless of the employee's location. This approach is vital for preventing catastrophic breaches and security incidents that can occur as employees move between corporate offices, shared workspaces, and remote setups.

As employees work from diverse locations, securing both the digital and physical aspects of the workplace becomes crucial. Modern workplaces offer a variety of spaces for employees to choose from, and ensuring the safety of these spaces is paramount. Integrating physical and cybersecurity measures is essential, as attackers can exploit gaps in security when employees work from different locations. Additionally, the safety of employees is impacted by both the digital and physical aspects of the workplace, whether it is due to a cyber attack or operational outage. Smart, physical assets that operate a building have to be protected operationally, regardless of whether employees are in the building or not. By protecting facility management systems and implementing stringent access controls, businesses can enhance their overall security posture and protect both their employees and assets."

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