At the end of 2020, experts from across RSA made 21 predictions about how cybersecurity would change in 2021. Our first prediction was that business would double down on digital transformation, embracing it with "even greater urgency to regain competitive advantage."
It's clear that prediction is already becoming a reality. But one thing we didn't expect was just how quickly digital transformation would get baked into the office of the future.
It's already changing how organizations hire employees: freelancing marketplace Upwork found that nearly 27 percent of the workforce will be fully remote in 2021; the Upwork study also found that, by 2025, the number of remote workers is expected to double compared to pre-pandemic rates.
Digital transformation is also changing how businesses budget for office space: commercial real estate firm CBRE estimated that San Francisco's latest vacancy rate surpassed the record set by the Great Recession in 2009. The New Yorker recently reported that commercial real estate firms "Boston Properties and Vornado Realty Trust…have lost more than a third of their stock-market value in the past year" and that "sublet space in New York has spiked dramatically since the pandemic."
For employers, the silver lining is that remote work in the U.S. "has been an overwhelming success" according to a PwC survey, in which 83% of employers reported that the shift to remote work has been successful for their companies – compared to 73% in June. The same study also found that fewer than one in five executives wanted to return to offices as they were pre-pandemic.
New workspaces + new tools = new risks
These trends will change more than where we work – they'll change how we'll work. In The New Yorker story linked above, Microsoft Vice-President Modern Work Jared Spataro noted that these trends "are accelerating a 'second digital transformation': the creation of a virtual cloud-based office that connects the desktops, where employees will go to work, whether they're present in the physical office or working remotely."
"We think every company is going to need to invest in a digital workspace for each employee," Spataro said, adding that companies are using the money saved by reducing their rents and leases to "build a custom office in the cloud, loaded with proprietary digital whiteboarding and visual-conferencing tools, which will transcend space and time. If you want to know what happened in the virtual office last Tuesday, you can go back and replay the meetings."
Making these investments can help businesses ensure continuity, promote productivity, and lock-in new savings. But as digital transformation accelerates, organizations' virtual, cloud-based offices will also introduce new risks, particularly around authentication, access management, and identity governance.
RSA SecurID Suite is built to address the identity and access management risks that can result from embracing digital transformation. RSA SecurID Access provides organizations with a range of authentication methods – including push notifications, biometrics and one-time password (OTP) – for iOS, Android, and MS Windows. RSA Identity Governance and Lifecycle ensures that – even when teams are accessing resources remotely – only the right accounts can access the right apps, data, and IT resources.
One way or the other, things aren't going back to how they were before. If you want to learn more about how to get in front of these changes, harness digital transformation, and ensure your employees have the right access, to the right systems – and are who they say they are, contact RSA today.