5 challenges of digital workspace management and how to overcome them

There are five notable challenges in DWM whose overarching theme boils down to just one: It’s security…but on multiple levels. Learn more about each of these challenges and how they contribute to your security posture, and what organizations can do to address them effectively.

May 23 2024 by

Jesus Vigo

In a previous blog, Omdia recognized Jamf as a market leader whose management and security solutions “support businesses in securing and empowering a more hybrid and flexible workforce,” as part of an essential Digital Workspace Management (DWM) platform.

Speaking of DWM, the core set of five challenges we address in this blog all stem from one central root: security. We also show how Jamf helps keep your device fleet protected with comprehensive controls while holistically mitigating risks; keeping users and sensitive data safe across your organization.

Disparate infrastructures

“Connectivity, management, security, and productivity are all critical mobile competencies that businesses should consider in developing an infrastructure that optimally enables a more flexible and mobile workforce.” — Omdia

Business operations, much like security, do not occur in a vacuum. Relying on mobile technologies to steer user productivity without accounting for the different components that impact success is similar to driving a car without checking your tires, refueling or changing the oil…eventually, one or more of these things will prevent you from getting to where you’re going. And while they’re all crucial to business continuity, the focus here lies squarely on maintaining security in the enterprise.

5 key challenges affecting security

The modern threat landscape is vastly different from decades ago. Even going back as recently as five years ago, threat actors’ motives were similar, sure, but their methods, tools and attack chains were nothing like they are today.

This difference is generally attributed to the:

  • Explosive growth of mobile technologies
  • Increased reliance on mobile devices for work
  • Monumental shift in usage of mobile technologies

Bad actors and threats also evolved to keep up with the changes in how users work, learn and communicate worldwide. Whether in the office or classroom, from the comfort of home, at a nearby coffee shop or just about any remote destination — mobile technology allows us to work from any device, over any network, from anywhere at any time.

Data and application security

Securing data and applications in a distributed, cloud-based digital workplace is a major challenge. Employees accessing sensitive data from various devices and locations increases risk vectors leading to exploiting vulnerabilities, compromising devices and ultimately escalating to cyber-attacks that result in data breaches. A solid foundation begins with mobile device management, extending security further by integrating identity and access management solutions for comprehensive data and application security controls to streamline the deployment of secure device profiles to minimize misconfiguration of settings, installing managed apps on-device while leveraging cloud-based identities to authenticate users and devices requesting access to hosted applications and data sources.

Securing remote and mobile access

The flexibility of digital workspaces means employees can access data and applications from anywhere on any device. Implementing robust access controls, multi-factor authentication and secure remote access protocols is essential to limiting access to authorized users and devices, adhering to the principle of least privilege so that users can only access the resources necessary to do their work. Additionally, controls based on Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) ensure that users and devices accessing company resources uphold security postures by enforcing security baselines that restrict access by default unless credential and device health is proven each time a request is made.

Protecting against cyber threats

The rise in remote work has increased the attack surface for cybercriminals. Implementing comprehensive cybersecurity controls like protection against in-network threats and malware prevention is necessary for the mitigation and prevention of risks. Additionally, security training for employees has proven to crucially benefit organizational and device security postures by helping end-users identify, avoid and report cyber threats before they can exploit vulnerabilities, exfiltrate sensitive data, or worse.

Visibility and control over data

With data distributed across various cloud applications, IT and Security teams struggle to maintain visibility and control over sensitive information, increasing the risk of data leaks and compliance breaches. Actionable data is the key to visibility and taking sound action to mitigate risks requires sound, up-to-date telemetry data to ensure organizational security postures are maintained. This is why gathering device health data in real-time is table stakes to your organization’s security plan. The rich telemetry data, when shared securely between integrated solutions, provides vital information that solutions utilize to take next steps. For example, endpoint security detects that a device is missing a critical update. This informs identity and access using ZTNA to prevent access to requested resources until remediation has occurred. The request is handed over to device management, where policies enforce compliance and deploy the missing update to the device.

Compliance with data security regulations

Companies need to ensure they are complying with industry, local, federal and/or regional security regulations. Using certified digital workplace platforms that meet security standards is crucial to maintaining compliance. Integrating endpoint security and device management helps organizations maintain compliance. The latter aligns management workflows with standards and frameworks to deploy configurations that establish baseline requirements so that each enrolled device is compliant; the former monitors endpoints in real-time, alerting administrators when devices fall out of compliance, as policy-based management triggers automated workflows that remediate endpoint health and bring devices back into compliance and comprehensively mitigate security and compliance risks.

Read the full Omdia report