5 Remote Working challenges for CISOs during a pandemic

As the search for a vaccine to quell COVID-19 nears an end, many corporate execs and their employees are contemplating what the future looks like for their working habits. 

We’ve been talking to CISOs and cyber leaders to understand how they and their teams been affected during the pandemic We’ve outlined 5 key challenges faced by CISOs during the pandemic:

#1 – Getting visibility across the team

For cyber leadership and management, being surrounded by your team in the office makes life easier.  It’s much easier and natural to have quick conversations with the team and understand what people are working on.  When high priority requests come in or incidents are identified, managers can quickly direct attention where it is needed. 

In order to adapt to this new world, cyber leaders should ensure they have the right approach in place to keep the team working effectively and delivering value to internal customers.

#2 – Dealing with the increased workload

The pandemic has changed the way people work, shop and bank.  The acceleration of digital transformation has presented cyber criminals with new opportunities to cause disruption and get their hands on sensitive information.

As a result, cyber teams have been busier than ever, the purse strings have been tightened for many businesses and the sudden thrust into large scale remote working means teams have had to adapt quickly.

If bringing on additional resource is not an option, cyber leaders need to look at how they can improve productivity within the team, by streamlining processes and the technology that supports them. The productivity gains may not be all that impressive on a case-by-case basis but it’s worth sticking to it as they will soon add up.

#3 – Are my teams adapting to new ways of working

While there are many people that miss the camaraderie that comes with working together in the office, for many more, the transition to home working has been a revelation. Employees feel that they can get more work done at home, as that commuting time can now be put to better use. More importantly, many feel that WFH yields better work-life balance as they get to spend more quality time with their families.

Sundar Pichai, chief executive at Google is planning for a world in which many of its employees never return to the office full time:

I see the future as being more flexible. We firmly believe that being in-person, being together, having a sense of community is super important when you have to solve hard problems and create something new, so we don’t see that changing. But we do think we need to create more flexibility and more hybrid models.

Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer at Google

It’s important for Cybersecurity leaders to acknowledge the changing needs of employees and given the ongoing skills shortage within the industry, it’s important to hold on talent and let them have a say in how they work.

#4 – Making sure work is prioritised according to business needs

Within enterprise organisations, there are many sources of incoming work. Demand can come from internal customers (e.g. HR or Finance) as well as from the team themselves, and can arrive through various different channels such as email, direct messaging, phone calls, ticketing systems… the list goes on.

When demand comes from so many different directions, it’s a challenge for teams delivering the work as they have to juggle and prioritise across many different data points.  Leadership have a similar headache, as it’s difficult and time-consuming to extract any meaningful reporting when data is all over the place and often out of sight.

Consider performing a review of how your team captures and manages demand.  Look at how you can consolidate the process of capturing, routing, and tracking of incoming requests. This will make life easier for delivery teams, give managers better ability to prioritise and manage workload, and offer cyber leadership a holistic view of demand to ensure the team can fulfil its obligations and support business objectives.

#5 – Getting the most out of your Collaboration tools

Most enterprises have some form of workplace collaboration tool in place, whether it’s Workplace by Facebook, favoured by organisations with high proportion of front-line deskless staff, of Microsoft Teams favoured by the more corporate, desk-based worker organisations.

These platforms are a key part of remote working, but sadly we see so many organisations releasing them into the wild and failing to train employees up and deliver best practices.  Gone are the days of systems like these being released and then standing still; new features are being added all the time. 

In 2020 alone, Microsoft Teams has added features like Together Mode – a cool way of visualising your team together in a coffee shop or conference room, and Custom Layouts – an engaging way to deliver content, allowing you to present slides and superimpose your talking self over the top of your deck.

Check out this post from Microsoft Ignite 2020 for a more detailed breakdown of some of the newest features to hit Teams.  Microsoft publish their technology roadmap too – you can find the Teams Roadmap here.

Many of the new features being released have direct benefits to support better remote working, so don’t get left behind – make the most out of your tools and your team will reap the benefits

Cyber leaders should invest in training their teams on how to get the most out of their workplace collaboration tools.  Try out new features on your team calls, share best practices and get your team working in a consistent way. It’s a sure-fire way to improve collaboration and synergy within the team.

The Wrap

With the COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, there is a genuine sense that normality will soon return. however flexible working will be high up on the list of many current and future employee’s desires.

By taking some of the key steps outlined in this post, you can ensure you are ready to embrace the future where remote work is the norm, and still manage a high performing, tight-knit team to help protect your organisation, its technology and its data.

Zerodai is a work platform built specifically for InfoSec teams. Learn more about how it can help you drive performance in a remote team.
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