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The future of work is all about remote working: Expert commentary (Includes interview)

To understand how the world of work will be transformed, Digital Journal caught up with Mike Riemer, Global Chief Security Architect at Pulse Secure.

READ MORE: Post-COVID-19 security predictions: Where are we heading?

Remote working

The first trend that Mike Riemer spots is that “There will be a larger remote workforce with cybersecurity built into the culture. A recent Gartner survey of over 300 Chief Financial Officer’s found that 74 percent of respondents say they expect to move previously on-site employees to remote post-COVID-19.”

An expanding number of home workers require new strategies to be forged by companies, including a focus on cybersecurity matters.

Security improvements

The next trend relates to cybersecurity. Here Riemer predicts that security is key to future success, noting: “Ultimately, an effective security culture mitigates the risk of a breach as a result of credential theft, phishing and business email compromise and working with employees to protect their privacy addresses a growing issue for many people, 28 percent of whom have had their identity hacked or stolen. That number increases to 35 percent when looking at the entire U.S.” (with data drawn from the aforementioned survey).

Zero Trust

Zero Trust is an alternative security model that addresses the shortcomings of failing perimeter-centric strategies by removing the assumption of trust.

Continuing with the cybersecurity theme, Riemer looks at how Zero Trust is pivotal to remote working protection. Here he notes that “Zero Trust is an approach based on the concept of continuous verification and authorization. It ensures that only authenticated users with compliant devices, whether corporate, personal or public, can connect to authorized applications over any network, whether on-premises or in the cloud.. “

With particular reference to the coronavirus pandemic, Riemer says: “Zero trust will be part of the future of work during and post COVID-19. The need for Zero Trust security has never been greater, especially due to increased targeted attacks, rapid work from home mandates, and mounting privacy compliance obligations due to COVID-19.”

This includes Zero Trust networks, which treat all traffic as untrusted, restricting access to secure business data and sensitive resources as much as possible to reduce the risk and mitigate the damage of breaches.

In conclusion, Riemer’s assessment runs: “With its principle of user, device and infrastructure verification before granting conditional access based on least privilege, Zero Trust holds the promise of vastly enhanced usability, data protection and governance and must be part of any security architecture as we navigate the current COVID-19 business landscape.”


Changing themes, Riemer looks at telemedicine and remote field offices. These too “will change the needs of healthcare professionals. Healthcare is going the way of other industries with employees being asked to work remotely and post COVID-19, we believe the use of telemedicine and remote field offices will be the new normal in healthcare. As such, IT teams must provide healthcare workers with mobile devices that are protected, even on expanded Wi-Fi networks or cellular networks as employees are often working outside secure networks, opening their mobile devices to additional threats.”

Remote protection

As his final trend, Riemer considers measures to protect home workers. Here he predicts: “Increasing remote capacity on network protections such as VPNs, extends security to those workers in the field, ensuring that both patient information as well as other personal information stored on those devices is safe.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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