March 25, 2022

Article
3 min

4 Essential Cloud-Delivered Security Tools for Hybrid Work

Even as more workers return to the office, organizations should continue to embrace security tools delivered via the public cloud.

Aundre Dudley

The COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty about nearly every aspect of business and society, but one thing is certain: Hybrid work is here to stay. 

Employees have grown accustomed to the flexibility of working from home, and most organizations have discovered their fears about remote work —largely centered on employees slacking off without a manager’s presence looming over them — were generally unfounded. 

As they plan for the future of hybrid work, organizations must embrace security tools that protect their employees, devices and data wherever they are. Usually, this means accepting tools delivered via the cloud. 

In particular, most organizations can benefit from four types of cloud security solutions.

Multifactor Authentication Adds an Extra Layer of Protection

Multifactor authentication tools have penetrated the consumer market, with many tech-savvy users setting up two-step login processes for their personal email or bank accounts. And yet, a surprisingly large number of organizations lack MFA tools or else don’t require all their employees to use them. 

According to some estimates, implementing MFA can reduce the number of successful cyberattacks by up to 90 percent. These tools become even more important as organizations adopt an increasing number of cloud-based applications that can be accessed from anywhere. The relatively low cost and wide availability of MFA solutions truly make them an essential part of hybrid work security — something that can be put into place quickly and easily, with nearly instantaneous results.

Cloud-Based Firewalls Deliver Scalable Security

Firewalls have long been a key component of many organizations’ cybersecurity strategies. Historically, these have largely been on-premises solutions. However, cloud-based firewalls tend to be much more scalable because deployment does not require onsite installation (not to mention ongoing maintenance and upgrades). 

Firewalls delivered via the cloud can be either traditional firewalls or next-generation firewalls. NGFWs provide additional functionality, visibility and management capabilities to secure incoming and outgoing traffic among cloud-based applications.

Email Security Defends Against Attacks on a Popular Target

According to some estimates, more than 90 percent of cyberattacks begin with email. And in 2020, 85 percent of organizations were hit by phishing attacks. When these attacks are successful, they’re costly. The average ransom paid by organizations affected by successful ransomware attacks in 2020 was reportedly $200,000. Cloud-based email security tools can block links to malicious sites before they reach end users. These tools can also block imposter email addresses and apply encryption and data loss prevention to outgoing messages.

Endpoint Protection Helps Secure End-User Devices

A mainstay in most organizations’ cybersecurity arsenals, endpoint protection tools defend end-user devices from exploitation by malicious actors. Cloud-based endpoint protection is better positioned than traditional tools to defend against more sophisticated attacks. For instance, determined hackers can recreate traditional endpoint protection software and then run hundreds of mock attacks in labs to find out what works, without anyone detecting what they’re up to. However, cloud-based tools will record, analyze and share these attack attempts, preventing them from being used successfully in the future. 

Story by Aundre Dudley, who serves as the Cybersecurity Practice Team Lead for CDW and has over 18 years of experience designing, implementing and selling security solutions.