Hybrid work is the new normal. With the flexibility brought by cloud computing and digitalization, most employees expect to perform their jobs optimally from any location.
The support for hybrid work is not just a means to retain a happier and more productive workforce. Companies could widen their talent pools to other locations and hire the best talent even if they are on the other side of the world.
Jason Clark, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Security Officer at software company Netskope, and Marilyn Miller, Chief People Officer at the same firm, see this current environment as an opportunity for security and technology teams to get more strategically aligned with human resources (HR) teams.
Here’s how they think both teams should work:
Get back visibility and invest in modern data protection
Due to the shift to cloud and SaaS applications, company data can now move and be accessed from everywhere. In turn, organizations with outdated security struggle to monitor what their employees are doing with data.
Using modern technology frameworks — such as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) — helps prioritize data protection suited to an era when cloud applications dominate business.
Clark and Miller believe that teams must invest in this technology to get back visibility into what’s happening with their data.
Using security as a cultural enabler
Instead of strict restriction, companies should facilitate real-time coaching techniques — powered by advancements in AI for data protection — to help guide employees toward safer behavior online.
Clark and Miller explained that this method is “as much a cultural shift as it is a technology shift.” Security teams understand this as an example of what technology can do to manage risky behavior. HR teams understand it as a benefit for employee experience.
But most of all, using security as a cultural enabler provides more protection to the company than hoping employees remember cyber-awareness training.
Insist on accountability
Clark said that there’s a fine line between “Big Brother”-style surveillance of employees and creating a trust balance among work-from-anywhere employees who are being reckless with their online security.
When security and HR preach enablement for all to embrace hybrid work, teams feel more connected, and rogue behavior is minimized.
On the other hand, when trust is violated, the management should speak with one voice and address violations swiftly and specifically to emphasize accountability in the organization.
Change your hiring strategy
A “new and better collaboration” between security teams and HR means that you will need more people — especially senior leaders — who can act independently and who can go into a “higher gear” when it comes to managing a workforce that is both diverse and dispersed.
In your hiring conversations, spend more time uncovering whether your prospective hires are thinking about these challenges for a hybrid work era or merely trying to graft old-school thinking onto how we live and do business now.
It will save you a lot of time and management headaches if you identify and prioritize forward-thinkers who want to solve today’s and tomorrow’s talent retention challenges and view technology solutions as going hand-in-hand with workforce culture and employee experience.