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Adapting to a New Way of Working in 2020

In the spring of 2020, organizations sought to protect their workforce by mandating and enabling their employees to work from home. While necessary for saving lives, this experience physically separated security professionals from their own teams, from the employees who depend on them, and from the systems they’re responsible for. The new work arrangement also placed greater strain on some personnel during an already stressful time.

That’s not to say that we can’t find ways to adapt to this new way of working. In the spirit of this reality, we asked several thought leaders in the industry to share their recommendations on how security teams can make the most of this change and set a strategy that works for the future. Here’s what they had to say.

Remote work has been a huge adjustment for many. For some, this has been very isolating. For others, it’s been hard dealing with the uncertainty.

You should set up time with your team or co-workers to meet regularly. We do a daily sync in the mornings. It’s not structured. We can talk about anything including work. It lets us connect with each other, and it’s really strengthened our team.

Also, set a schedule so that work is not all day, every day. Use visual management aids like wall calendars and white boards to track time, deliverables, events, etc. And make sure you take time to get outside, take a walk, get up, and stretch regularly.

Cheryl Biswas | Specialist, Cyber Threat Intelligence Program, Global Bank

It is 100% normal to not perform as you normally do. This is not normal. We are all reacting to this in different ways. Some of us are lucky enough to be productive during this time. Some of us are barely holding on. Make sure you work WITH yourself, not against yourself. If that means taking time off or speaking with your boss about your struggles, do so.

However, do not stay down for too long. Feelings and emotions only last for 90 seconds. Our thoughts can push them to last a lot longer than that. Give yourself a day or two and then try again.

Also, maintain connections with your colleagues, family, and friends. Try to take regular breaks. Go back to things you used to do for fun but which life has caused you to forget. Get outside. But remember, you need to be well in order to do the awesome work you do, so take care of yourself.

Most importantly, taking your lunch as well as short breaks is crucial for your well-being and sanity. Keep in mind that working remotely (or from home) is a bit different than working remotely during a pandemic, so have patience and don’t be afraid to recalibrate and shift until you find what works for you.

Stephanie Ihezukwu | Cloud Security Operations Analyst II at Duo Security, Cisco

The third element to keep in mind for the remote working force is the democratization of security. We have to be sure to provide security tools such as MFA to our employees that enable them to do their jobs safely and securely.

The unprecedented shift to remote work forced security teams to quickly adapt. What does this new way of working mean for the future of cybersecurity? You can hear security leaders’ insights in the clip below:

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