How Godrej is securing its hybrid workforce, IT News, ET CIO

How Godrej is securing its hybrid workforceDespite the sudden nation-wide lockdown last year due to the pandemic, the Godrej group rose to the occasion and rolled out a remote work model within days for its 12,000 employees spread across four continents.

“The lockdown in India happened quite suddenly and at that moment nobody knew what the future of work would look like,” says Satyavrat Mishra, Assistant Vice President – Corporate IT, Godrej Industries Limited.

Mishra attributes the success of this migration to early adaptability of technology. The Godrej group, whose business interests span across industries like consumer products, Diversified Agri Business, chemicals, real estate and housing finance, had implemented a complete Enterprise Mobility Security (EMS) Suite, along with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (erstwhile Office 365 Advance Threat Protection) for email security back in 2018.

While the conglomerate’s journey towards enabling employees to work remotely had started before the lockdown, it still did not have a ‘work from home’ culture. One of the biggest challenges Godrej faced was related to identity and security. In an office, there are physical boundaries, hence it is easy to secure the perimeter. With remote working, that wasn’t the case any longer, which made the job of securing the company’s networks and data became different and much more challenging.

“The one thing that worked in our favour was that we’d already adopted Microsoft’s cloud-based solutions for secure connectivity earlier, but we were using it for a smaller user base. After the lockdown, all we had to do was roll it out for all our employees,” Mishra says.

Godrej uses over 150 business applications across verticals, and each of them was connected to Azure Active Directory (AAD) to enable Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication. The company made sure that this solution was enabled not just for employees, but also their vendors and consultants.

“Earlier, there used to be discussions on how to secure the perimeter, how to put more security and network access control solutions. Now, we’re implementing Zero Trust frameworks. That is a major paradigm shift in the way that a security team would define resource access….