By now it’s clear that the hybrid workforce is here to stay. While some employees and companies have returned to the office following the workplace upheavals of 2020 and 2021, many elect to remain fully remote. And in Foundry’s Future of Work Study 2022, 65% of organizations reported they are continuing to maintain a hybrid workforce.

Along with the advantages to organizational resilience and productivity thanks to the work-from-anywhere (WFA) environment come increased risks. That’s why it’s time to rethink workplace cybersecurity and migrate to a zero trust security strategy.

Transforming architectures

The massive shift to WFA patterns and remote data traffic eroded the foundation of network-centric, legacy architecture that had served companies well for many years. To compensate, many organizations invested heavily in VPN technology. And while VPNs have the potential to provide organizations increased flexibility to ensure widespread and secure access to company assets for remote workers, they can also increase security costs and complexity.

Consequently, forward-looking IT teams are taking the opportunity to overcome the disadvantages of traditional VPNs. They’re doing it by deploying a new breed of cloud-native secure access solutions. These secure access service edge (SASE) solutions deliver enhanced security and help drive organizational innovation through greater control over security in hybrid work environments.

The new, cloud-based approaches work by extending zero trust principles across the IT environment. They enable secure WFA access to data and applications without requiring complex network segmentation. Seamless usability and streamlined management capabilities further enhance security and productivity across organizations and work styles.

Streamlining user experiences

Zero trust security tools initially took a network-based approach to granting access to company applications and data. But the pandemic and the rise of remote and hybrid work forced IT departments to change that approach.

Now, IT teams must support people working from anywhere. So they’ve extended the tenants of zero trust security to remote users with the help of SASE tools that secure assets and infrastructure however users access them or wherever they reside. And equally critically, the new tools give IT teams visibility into access and any potential threats.

With the help of SASE tools, IT teams can deliver reliable and secure experiences regardless of the network setup. That’s because the new tools help teams create app- and user-centric access policies rather than just the network-centric of old, simplifying access and management.

It all comes down to more flexible security and transparent experiences for users and administrators, thanks to zero trust principles.

The future of cybersecurity

The pandemic forced a rethinking of IT architectures and traditional security models as organizations in every industry scrambled to support remote and hybrid workforces. But IT teams realizing the power of zero trust architectures can now continue to innovate with flexible, resilient, and consistent security. All of which will remain critical for the evolving hybrid workforce of the future.