Recently, pundits were predicting that remote working would displace office life within the next five or ten years, give or take a few years. Well, welcome to the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed up the timetable for the future, from telemedicine to food delivery services. Perhaps this push is nowhere more evident than in our own homes, where knowledge workers have now set up provisional offices in spare rooms, dining rooms, and finished basements. This time last year, about one in six employees worked from home. Today, that number is a lot closer to five out of six.
Adjusting to life in the post-coronavirus world has been challenging on many levels, particularly for businesses. Entire industries have disappeared overnight, and businesses are struggling to stay productive and connected with a workforce that has migrated from a few regional hubs to thousands of individual homes. The sudden change has left businesses asking themselves the hard questions:
- How do we get business applications and data into the hands of the people who need them?
- How do we scale our remote solutions to serve, not 16% of our employees, but 96%?
- And, most importantly, How do we protect business communications and sensitive business data now that everyone is working outside the safety of our network firewall?
It’s a sobering truth that the coronavirus has caught most businesses unprepared for a fully remote workforce. Unsecured access to cloud applications, personal devices with weak passwords, and connectivity across a patchwork of secured and non-secured networks has exacerbated the already serious problem of cyber-attacks on data-in-motion. But perhaps the most pressing security problem for businesses right now is their reliance on their existing virtual private network (VPN) solution to fill in those security gaps. In reality, a fully remote workforce is exactly what will push most VPN solutions past the breaking point.