enterprisesecuritymag

Why Security Is More Pivotal than Ever in the Office of the Future

By Hiro Imamura, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A.

Hiro Imamura, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A.Hiro Imamura, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A.

When you think of security in an office setting, what comes to mind? Now picture that same office five years from now. Does the security landscape look the same? As the enterprises of today advance into the “Office of the Future,” businesses nationwide will start to be even more connected. And while connected office solutions bring convenience that will help fuel collaboration and productivity, they also bring the potential for new vulnerabilities.

Confidential information is no longer confined to the walls of an office. We are working remotely – conducting business meetings from our self-driving cars, sending high priority emails from 30,000 feet up in the air, and maybe even using AR and VR to virtually meet and communicate with team members from around the globe. We are using AI to break down barriers and create a new document workflow process, but is this new level of transparency introducing new flaws?

In a sense, it almost seems like every employee in today’s workforce needs to be an IT expert. Without the fundamental knowledge of how a data breach can happen, how can it be avoided? Yet, the reality we face is that everybody cannot be an IT expert. Acknowledging that the role of a future enterprise executive extends beyond traditional definitions of business technology can be fundamental to adapting your security framework for the office of the future.

According to a study of 500 CIOs and IT decision-makers, conducted by IDC and sponsored by Canon U.S.A., 84% of business leaders surveyed say that network security is critical to digital transformation in the workplace, making it one of the first steps for organizations tackling enterprise security. And as such, future office leaders will need to emphasize the importance of utilizing network and device security protocols to help ensure their workers the freedom to work and collaborate remotely.

As more connected devices and virtual assistants enter the office, there will be a requirement for more sophisticated security measures in order to manage the enterprise network. Neglecting device security within an organization, for example, can create openings in workflow processes for employees and other outside members to share confidential business information – either intentionally or by accident.

"As businesses continue to evolve and embrace the digital transformation, they too must evolve their outlook on security"

And to take it a step further, the trend toward bring your own device (BYOD) policies plays its own role in the overall increase in work mobility. In fact, the introduction of personal mobile devices to the workplace led 77% of IT decision-makers and CIOs surveyed to consider mobile device management to be a priority for organizational information security and compliance, according to the same survey.

It will be important for enterprises to implement a robust security software suite across all in-office and mobile devices to help organizations manage document sharing in the cloud from employees’ personal devices or to and from remotely connected office technology. In the immediate future, this may mean that companies looking to partner with digital solutions providers that can support remote accessibility and expansion of an organization’s traditional document sharing network while keeping content security in mind.

84% of decision-makers surveyed said that they believe that content security in the cloud is a top security concern for 2018. User authentication schemas and encryption processes can help organizations provide a layer of protection surrounding the private data it shares across different regions and devices within its network.

Now when you think of security in an office setting, what comes to mind? The “Office of the Future” will be collaborative; it just too needs to be protected. As businesses continue to evolve and embrace the digital transformation, they too must evolve their outlook on security.