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Securing Your Supply Chain for the Future of Work

Chris Ault

If you’re a permanent, full-time employee at your company, your status isn’t unusual. At least, not yet. The fact is, the world’s freelance workforce is growing exponentially, and younger workers are leading the charge. According to a study by Edelman Intelligence, about half of working Millennials in the U.S. are freelancing. And at the current growth rate, the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelance by 2027. Today, we call it the gig economy. Soon enough, though, it will be simply the economy — too much the standard to need an adjective.

This new reality creates insecurity for the workforce, but it also creates insecurity for you as an employer. When it comes to IT skills, we’re definitely in a seller’s market, and your sellers are demanding the flexibility to work where and when they choose. More than ever, good help is hard to find, and that’s forcing you to entrust your business to remote contributions from people you’ll probably never meet.

The distributed freelance workforce has been a reality for several years now, but most organizations are still approaching it with a pre-internet mindset: If we hire people, we obviously trust them, and we must give them access to whatever they need to do their jobs. But modern reality has rendered that approach nonsensical, and even dangerous. Thirty years ago, there was a limit to the damage even the most incompetent or hostile individual could cause. Today, given the opportunity, a bad actor could paralyze the infrastructure of an entire nation. Yet, in spite of near-daily reports of security breaches and cyberattacks, many businesses are still effectively handing out office keys to complete strangers all over the world.

It’s important to remember that people are only part of the challenge here. The other threat to your security comes from the vast array of attack surfaces that are probably woven into your enterprise:

Managed Laptops: Apart from being expensive to buy and manage, laptops are a security breach waiting to happen. They are notoriously attractive to thieves, and no data they hold can be considered secure. They’re also vulnerable to any threat introduced by the end user, be it through sloppy internet habits or a random USB key.

VPNs: The vulnerabilities of VPNs are now so well established that they’ve been the subject of a warning from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. VPNs allow east-west network access, with no visibility provided into the connected endpoint device.

Jump Boxes: Like VPNs, jump boxes give east-west access to your data once the user is inside the network. They don’t permit detailed auditing, and they offer no ability to monitor your users’ work. Plus, their vulnerability has already been demonstrated in the Wipro and GandCrab cyberattacks.

VDI/DaaS: Desktop virtualization eliminates the security concerns around endpoint devices, but it creates its own challenges. It’s expensive and time-consuming to launch, and it doesn’t allow for monitoring, auditing or credential management.

In fairness, it isn’t difficult to understand how all these vulnerabilities have arisen. When enterprise security is heightened, so too is the level of frustration, especially for your best talent. Top performers naturally embrace the agile way of working, and the standard approach to data security seems almost designed to impede their nimbleness.

So, it would seem that we’re forced to choose between security and agility. We’ve convinced ourselves that the more we have of one, the less we’ll have of the other. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At Tehama, we believe that security and agility can coexist, and that the key to unifying them is a workspace where trust can actually be taken for granted. We’ve designed Tehama not only to secure your data, but to liberate everyone on your team to do their best work.

First, let’s talk about security. Tehama connects your teams and vendors in clean end-user compute white rooms. The OS is in your control, and credentials never leave your corporate applications. All activity can be monitored and recorded in real time, and you have a full history of all work performed by all teams, no matter where they are.

From an administrative perspective, Tehama is the ultimate stress buster. You can ensure regulatory compliance as you onboard remote teams, and you’re no longer dealing with the headaches and expense of laptops, endpoint devices and server racks.

Tehama is equally liberating from the standpoint of nimbleness and agility. You don’t have to wait weeks or months to onboard and scale remote teams; with Tehama, it can be done in minutes. And now, at last, your best people can focus completely on your strategic goals — instead of fussing with laptops or devising workarounds for onerous security protocols.

The age of the remote workforce is bringing unlimited potential to the modern enterprise. With Tehama, the possibility of realizing that potential is finally here.

To learn more about Tehama, download our white paper.

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