The dichotomy between work and home devices has steadily declined over the past ten years. The ‘BYOD’ (Bring Your Own Device) movement, coupled with cultural shifts toward being always connected and available have resulted in employees bringing company devices home, and home devices to the office. While this has likely improved overall productivity, though, it has also limited enterprise visibility into data stored on the cloud and on employees’ devices — making tracking, security, watermarking, and enforced encryption challenging.
That’s why many organizations are opting for SaaS solutions that enable remote device and data sharing controls, according to a recent NewtonX enterprise cybersecurity report. Through a survey with 200 cybersecurity executives, investors, and leaders at companies including McAfee, BitGlass, Symantec, and Microsoft, NewtonX identified the top trends and challenges in remote device security and tracking.
Securing Cloud and Mobile Networks: How Companies Are Reining in the Distributed Workplace
Over 70% of American employees work remotely at least once a week — a number that has risen by over 30% over the past six years. Many of these employees are doing enterprise work on unsecured home networks, opening companies up to risk of data loss, duplication, or theft. Additionally, when employees work on unsecured networks tracking, logging, and wiping devices of company information upon termination or for any reason becomes much more difficult — and easier for employees to circumvent.
In 2017, for instance, 30,000 customers had their information exposed when an employee of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb had their home computer hacked. “The problem is particularly rampant in the startup community,” said one NewtonX expert. “Younger companies tend to be lax around device controls and working from home. Oftentimes when we get a new startup coming to us it’s because a former employee has gone rogue, or the company suffered a breach, and when we look at their remote controls we see they have virtually nothing set up by way of protection.”
Startups and established cybersecurity companies have both developed comprehensive solutions for these problems, though. From encrypting sensitive data at rest and in transit, to implementing a proxy through which employees can access company data and tools, SaaS cloud-based security platforms are the hottest cybersecurity tool for SMBs, remote workplaces, and startups.
Bitglass, for instance, recently raised $70M in Series D, bringing its total VC capital raised to roughly $150M. The company is competing with the likes of McAfee and Netskope, a cloud-access security broker that was founded in 2012. Between them, the companies give numerous options for security including:
- Device profiling/credential mapping
- Agent-less forward proxy
- Reverse proxy
- Incident management
Some products also allow managers to do agentless remote wiping of devices without installing additional software.
The New Market For Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs)
By 2025 70% of enterprises are expected to use CASBs. The NewtonX cybersecurity report revealed that the market is crowded right now, and is expected to consolidate over the next several years, with vendors that offer API-based controls as the most likely victims of consolidation since extending to include proxy-based controls requires significant investment from these players.
As more and more companies recognize the security and compliance risks they’re inviting by not securing BYOD devices and off-premises work, investment in robust, cloud-based CASBs will increase. 73% of cybersecurity executives said that securing remote data and devices was cited as a primary driver for investing in cybersecurity technology by their clients. As breaches and data loss increase (read our report on the subject here) cybersecurity will increasingly become a competitive advantage.