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BLOG: Securing the foundations of a modern organisation

Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist, Citrix | March 8, 2012
So, how and where do you start to develop a modern security strategy?

The workplace of today is undergoing significant change. Executive boards are demanding that their business be both agile and flexible while adhering to increasingly strict governance demands. This allows organisations to grow, change direction, manage risk and adapt to market trends and conditions more quickly than ever before.

Workers are also now driving change from the bottom up. Device proliferation and the ability to work when you want, from where you want mean workers are demanding increasingly mobile workstyle options.

This pressure creates an entirely new set of challenges for the whole organisation. Especially the HR and IT departments, often charged with implementing and managing such change. There is also added pressure for the CIO and CISO, who are ultimately responsible for ensuring the security and integrity of the organisation's sensitive information. Information governance has to guarantee that there are no embarrassing or, more importantly, costly and harmful security breaches that might contravene internal, industry and/or regulatory compliance and privacy standards.

Given the momentum of recent trends such as workshifting, which optimises your workforce by shifting work to more efficient locations, times and resources, mobility, and bring-your-own (BYO) device strategies, the traditional approach to information security no longer meets the needs of the modern enterprise. These trends, together with an increased sophistication of potential and targeted security threats, are leading to unprecedented information security complexity.

To embrace the future workplace, the CIO and CISO must implement a more relevant and modern strategy. IT needs to provide access to applications and data from any device, across any network, at anytime as applicable to each organisation's operating protocols while managing risk, protecting sensitive data, ensuring privacy and meeting compliance demands.

So, how and where do you start to develop a modern security strategy?

BYO, mobility and workshifting drive changes

The consumerisation of IT is driving a growing number of organisations to implement strategies and policies that increase BYO adoption and support mobile workstyles that allow both greater flexibility (time and location) and drive productivity. Led by powerful, easy-to-use mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet computers, these strategies support a multitude of workplace initiatives such as flex-work, teleworking, desk-sharing and information access for contractors.

The result is a business environment that is more flexible, collaborative and productive. In fact, according to the upcoming Global Citrix Workshifting Index, 64 percent of organisations stated that enabling increased productivity was the primary benefit of workshifting.

Workers also view the new flexible workplace as a popular option.  In today's turbulent economic environment, workers are often being asked to do more while their benefits remain the same or are cut. The ability to work anytime and from anywhere gives employees added flexibility and helps optimise work/life balance.


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