Are we at the beginning of the end yet? As the post-pandemic world gets tantalizingly closer, some companies have begun setting plans in motion to bring employees back to the office while others have made the switch to remote and hybrid work permanent.
Despite remote work being declared an overwhelming success, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus between employers and employees on returning to the office. When PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) surveyed employers across the U.S. in January 2021, three-quarters of executives predicted that at least half of their employees would be back in the office by the summer. In new data released by PwC in August 2021, 41 percent of employees said they wanted to stay fully remote, up from 29 percent in January 2021. In another study of more than 1,000 workers conducted by global staffing firm Robert Half, one-third of professionals currently working from home due to the pandemic said they would look for a new job if required to be in the office full time.
Give workers what they really want
There’s no question that employee expectations have been altered, perhaps forever. With signs of an economic recovery picking up steam, workers are more optimistic about their job prospects (read: they’re ready to jump ship) and these days, the flexibility to work when and where they want with the tools they need to be productive wherever they happen to be is table stakes.
Employers that can offer the option to work remotely are going to have an advantage attracting and retaining in-demand knowledge workers. Yet, because employers haven’t transformed their networking and security infrastructure, many companies can’t offer work-from-anywhere perks to attract and retain top talent. The rising tide of remote work is an opportunity for IT leaders to enable a modern workplace that fosters flexibility, sustains productivity, and boosts happiness for workers.
How zero trust enables work-from-anywhere demands
IT leaders are rethinking the traditional user experience and access model, and increasingly turning to a zero trust approach to enable secure work-from-anywhere. A Zscaler survey found that 72 percent of companies are prioritizing their adoption of zero trust, while 59 percent have accelerated their efforts due to the focus on remote work.
At Zscaler, we believe that aligning your organization to zero trust requires adopting a new mindset and applying three core tenets across your people, processes, and platforms:
- Assume everything is hostile. Zero trust only establishes trust based on the user identity and context with policy serving as the gatekeeper every step of the way. This means terminating every connection so you can hold and inspect unknown files before they reach your users and devices.
- Protect data using business policies. Zero trust uses identity and device posture to verify access rights and applies business policies based on context and content. As context changes, such as the user’s location or device, access privileges are continually reassessed.
- Eliminate the attack surface. Zero trust connects users directly to the applications and resources they need, and never connects them to networks. By enabling one-on-one connections, you eliminate the risk of lateral movement and prevent compromised devices from infecting other network resources.
Having a holistic platform strategy is a critical first step toward delivering zero trust security for your remote and hybrid workforce. Zscaler offers a modern approach that enables fast, secure connections and allows your employees to work from anywhere using the internet as the corporate network, removing the need for expensive legacy hub-and-spoke networks. The cloud-native Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange (ZTE) platform securely connects users, apps, and devices—using business policies—over any network, in any location. With ZTE, you can increase user productivity with convenient access, reduce business risk by eliminating the attack surface, and cut costs with far less infrastructure complexity.
Get an edge amid the great resignation
Zero trust security provides the foundation that will make your business more agile, accelerate digital transformation, and empower employees to work from anywhere. Whether you’re just starting down the path of zero trust or elevating your zero trust maturity, you’re not alone on this journey. We’re here to help every step of the way with the platform, people, and process to make you successful.
Learn how to enable secure work-from-anywhere perks that can give your business the edge it needs in the battle for talent with Zscaler’s digital workplace solutions.