Security teams will need to keep these important considerations in mind as employees make their way back to the workplace.

We don’t know when the pandemic will end. But we do know that, at some point, more employees will head back to their offices. From a security perspective, what then? What has to be done to keep employees – and their organizations – safe as they begin to make their way back to the workplace?

Suffice to say, a lot, all with the goal of not losing any of the security gains made during the move away from central offices in the first half of 2020. Perhaps the most important of them all has been the recognition of just how important endpoints are in the overall scheme of things. In addition, the pandemic has increased recognition of the “perimeter” as amorphous and diaphanous rather than the impregnable wall some still see.

On the flip side, cybersecurity teams will have losses to address, specifically around those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“Many employees and businesses have shifted their workforce, and unfortunately this also includes workforce reductions,” says Heather Paunet, senior vice president of product management at Untangle. “IT departments should conduct a comprehensive employee audit, ensuring those who are still with the company have access to the files and programs they need, while also disabling access for employees who are no longer with the company.”

This also extends to employees who have transitioned to other teams within the organization and may need different access permissions, she adds. IT departments need to pay special attention to obtaining physical devices as well. Company-issued devices need to be returned to the IT department, reset, and updated with the latest security parameters until they are put back in use.

In talking with industry experts about what cybersecurity teams should plan on in anticipation of a return to the office, roughly half a dozen points came up multiple times. Several build on and reinforce one another. Here’s what they told us.

Next page: Buttoning up employee behaviors

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and … View Full Bio

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