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Remotely Blog

Governance, Risk, & Compliance in the age of Hybrid Work

With all you seek to gain...gain understanding

-Ralph Waldo Emerson (citing Proverbs)

We have spent the better part of two years researching, acquiring, deploying, testing, tuning, and trusting a new generation of powerful point security solutions.  EDR, MDR, XDR, Signals Intelligence, Eyes on Glass,  along with Antivirus, Malware, SIEM, ZTNA, MFA and a parade of additional solutions are putting up a valiant defense versus a new generation of bad actors. This is for good reason as one can hardly browse the headlines with a "cyber incident"  popping to the forefront. And this has not gone unnoticed by some of the most efficient market makers - insurance underwriters whose Cyber Insurance Premiums are seeing massive upticks in a cost climate where most companies can ill afford additional outlays.

With all the effort we have put into these powerful point solutions - we need to realize that insider threats - often non malicious - often users simply not following or unaware of rules or policies, pose the greatest threat. With up to 90% of all cyber incidents involving human error we believe it is as important, if not more, to know at all times - who is following the rules?

While this may sound simple - missing a reboot cycle to install a new patch, definition, or corporate policy can be the difference between being completely secure, and totally not.  Knowing this, acknowledging this, and measuring this is the first step.  This is the act of digital GRC. Governance, Risk, and Compliance at the edge begins with visibility into where your users are, what they are doing, which applications are at use and at risk, what kinds of devices and peripherals are possible exposure points.  Now up until recently the idea of watching every remote or hybrid users / system on the network in near real time would have been laughed off as a dream too big. 

Today, not only is this a reality, it may be nearly mandatory. While the DIB (Defense Industrial Base) is beginning to require supply chain risk management with certifications we see norms like SOC II and ISO 27001 begin to emerge as requirements in commercial and civilian organizations.  We are entering an era where security, compliance, risk mitigation will be the norm, not the exception.

How does this effect us daily?

We let users work remotely, and in hybrid environments.  We can all be fairly certain many are not, will never, come back into a cubicle.  There is a calculable savings in costs for these new workers, and a questionable change in productivity. We are not here to debate that point,  but rather make the case that governance, risk, and compliance for end users has forever changed. Our instrumentality should as well.

Patching, updating, compliance, Microsoft Secure Score and Exposure Scores, Licensing and Usage among a host of other metrics and evidence together make up our risk posture. One powerful outcome of using a solution like RemotelyRMM to accomplish this is the ability to bring GRC, Security, and System Administrators together with less friction and true traction.  Everyone is on the front lines these days, even more so with such a massive remote and hybrid user base.  Why struggle with cutting and pasting data from 7 systems into a spreadsheet that is useless after the meeting?  We suggest GRC in 2023 and beyond is a process. 

In fact - a huge part of any Risk Management Framework is to ensure security and risk management is an ongoing matter - hourly in many cases. The overhead of multiple systems of record would have mad this too difficult previously. Solutions like RemotelyRMM which bring together information and data from across your enterprise - in the cloud - in near real time - make the notion of keeping security postures maximized a reality.  It is not for the sake of keeping tabs on user behavior or productivity trends as much as we are looking for existing, emerging, or current vulnerabilities.  If we had a ledger of each and every weakness posed by each and every user, in each and every location, all the time - we would have something truly valuable. You now do with RemotelyRMM. 

Policies, process, and controls should keep both systems and user behavior from "drifting" from pristine desired states. Truly valuable alerts would point out major, minor, and prevalent risks across our users. Our ability to deliver this to the business, specifically with solutions like RemotelyRMM, will push back not only on rising cyber incident costs in resolution, and insurance premiums, but also on lost user productivity and provide our GRC initiatives with actionable data. 

Whether you are involved in your companies Risk Management, Security Practice, End User Computing, System/Network Administration, Apps, or other - see what "turning on the lights" in the dark room of remote work can do for ALL of your teams.

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December 2022

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