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Improving prosperity for all people and cultures

The NTT Group is embracing the Self as We concept with the view to creating a sustainable society. The Self here refers to those around you as well, not just you as an individual. And this does not only refer to humans--nature and culture are also viewed as part of the Self. Social issues that cannot be solved from an

Secured PCs allow a remote work ratio of 85%

In this day and age, IT has become an essential part of our lives and work, but this also increases the amount of threats from cyberattacks. As a company that handles sensitive customer information, implementing measures to protect against these threats is of the utmost importance. In many cases, the way employees work must be restricted to ensure security.

"After I entered NTT Com, it was normal for a while to commute and work at the office. We needed to connect to the internal network, otherwise we would not be able to use our PCs or access internal systems or applications.
Some job types also make use of mobile PCs to perform work while out on the road. At the time, we used a thin-client system, where applications and work data are managed on the server side--for security reasons, no data is stored locally on devices. Yet this setup made the PCs operate so slowly. Typing each character took about a second (laughing)." (comment from Maki Ikezawa also follows below)

Meanwhile, NTT Com began offering remote work to employees from 2017. As the first state of emergency was declared with the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the company quickly shifted to a work-from-home system. The ratio of remote work at NTT Com as of April 2022 reached 85.1%. With the exception of certain job types, remote work became the norm for most employees. This helped to overcome the poor efficiency resulting from typing at "1 character a second."

Making this possible was the idea of the secured PC that Ms. Ikezawa was involved in developing--this new PC concept allows work to be performed from anywhere in a secure and efficient manner.

Zero-trust approach = "never trust"

The Information System Division of the Digital Transformation Promotion Department that Ms. Ikezawa belongs to is in charge of managing the internal IT environment. Ms. Ikezawa is the senior manager in charge of "authorization" when users want to access PCs or systems. She was in her fourth year at the company when she volunteered to join the development project team for secured PCs.

At the time, NTT Com came up with the "Work from Anywhere" slogan as a way of reforming working styles, and developed an IT environment that allows employees to work from anywhere in the same way as working in the office. This is a work style that has a greater degree of flexibility thanks to advancements in IT. This requires a high level of security to ensure work is performed in the same way from any location. To achieve this, the "zero-trust" concept has been adopted.
"Until now, the approach to ensure security had been to complete all work within the company intranet, and to make sure the connection was closed securely. Yet with cyberattacks becoming more advanced in recent years, we need to factor in the possibility of unauthorized access to the intranet. A new approach was established, with the entire system designed not to trust any type of access, whether it is from within the intranet or from external sources. This is the basic concept behind the zero-trust security model.

This approach of blocking unauthorized communications without exception, never trusting any access originating from PCs, and verifying authorization at various points is also suitable for remote work environments where a range of devices and networks are used.

Image of secured PC

"Secured PCs were developed based on the premise that they would be used on external networks, and are configured to access internal networks via a VPN only when using certain internal systems. Technology called endpoint detection and response, or EDR, triggers an alert if suspicious activities are detected on devices. If a user loses a PC while they are working outside, the data is encrypted with technology called BitLocker, and can also be deleted remotely from the PC. Secured PCs feature a range of NTT Com's security technologies, and are secure and convenient to use when employees are working outside."

"Nice!" feedback for the Information System Division that rarely receives praise

The development of secured PCs by Ms. Ikezawa and her team is based on the concept of the zero-trust model.
Secured PCs ensure a stress-free working environment that significantly reduce the restrictions on employee actions and workload implemented as security measures, without users having to worry about where they are able to perform their work. We are successfully running the Work from Anywhere initiative, with NTT Com employees using secured PCs at their homes, satellite offices, and various other locations. This initiative has led to a positive increase in employee motivation.

"The introduction of secured PCs has significantly boosted employee satisfaction levels. The increase in satisfaction amongst female employees in particular was noticeable. I have heard of female employees returning to work four months after giving birth, and this was only possible with an environment that enables remote work.
It is rare for the Information System Division to receive any kind of praise. This is because it is considered normal for IT environments to operate without issues. People only contact us when problems arise. Yet we did get a lot of "Nice!" responses as a result of this project. This turned out to be a big source of motivation for me."

Never compromising; remaining committed to the "true meaning"

The demand for environments that enable remote work has increased throughout society since the COVID-19 pandemic began. NTT Com provides a range of security services to customers based on the know-how it gained from its own work style reform initiatives.
"In June 2022 , NTT announced remote work as its standard style of work. NTT Com's work style reform has become a showcase, and I have even heard that our example has influenced other companies outside of the group through the efforts of the sales team. It is so exciting to actually see my own work helping to bring a difference to the way other people work.

I joined NTT Com because I believed in the potential capabilities of IT, and I wanted to make a difference to the world using ICT. While there is growing demand for reforming work styles these days, cyberattacks are also becoming more sophisticated. There needs to be a coordinated effort between people and technology, and I am aiming to remain one step ahead of such efforts as a way of resolving social issues like these. And instead of simply finding solutions to current issues, we need to think about why we are engaged in such work and what its significance is, and never compromise as we remain committed to the underlying meaning. When I think about how my work is directly linked to the future of others, I feel that this is what Self as We means to me personally."