As we continue to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic, one thing has become very clear: the hybrid work environment is here to stay. What began as an abrupt, collective shift to remote work has now become a standard practice for many organizations. There are many benefits to a hybrid work model, such as flexibility and scalability. However, in order for a hybrid workforce to be successful, organizations must develop a more in-depth approach to security. Let’s go over some of the must-dos for those considering adopting a hybrid workforce securely.
Address Technical Vulnerabilities
Hybrid work environments can create security risks when data is not being monitored. This is a common issue with hybrid or remote employees, as organizational data is being transferred between remote and on-site locations. For example, one of the top threats organizations faced at the beginning of the pandemic were phishing campaigns targeted at remote employees. Scammers were actively replicating emails to capture login credentials and other confidential data.
The best way an organization can ensure their hybrid employees are rid of vulnerabilities is to implement the appropriate tools, such as antivirus and advanced threat detection software, a VPN, and if possible, provide employees with work devices. This also allows IT teams to better monitor traffic without infringing employee privacy.
Evaluate Network Security
Another common area of vulnerability is network security. In an office-based set-up, all employee computers run on the same network. When all employees are remote, though, their devices are connected to individual networks, which means dozens, if not hundreds of additional endpoints – all of which are vulnerable to an attack.
To secure all endpoints, IT should start by deploying comprehensive mobile device management (MDM). This allows for management of security of employee personal devices. We’ll get into more about leveraging personal devices below.
Strategically Leverage Personal Devices
While it’s understandable that not all organizations can provide devices for all employees, it’s important that personal devices are treated just the same. With employees continuing to work on their personal devices, things like multi-factor authentication (MFA) are a must when accessing applications. MFA can help reduce the chance of compromised data, while making security part of an employee’s daily routine.
MFA is fundamental for securing a hybrid workforce, and can also empower employees to work from wherever while still protecting organization data.
Educate Your Workforce
One of the best ways to increase organizational security is to educate your employees on the importance of cybersecurity best practices. Cyber security awareness training helps employees understand their role in the overall security posture of an organization. It also emphasizes a culture of security, as everyone feels invested and involved in protecting the organization, whether in the office or from home. training can help employees make habit of creating cryptic passwords, logging out of applications, using MFA, as well as how to recognize suspicious emails and files.
Find Alternative Security Solutions
Creating a streamlined, productive hybrid workforce doesn’t come without challenges. Luckily, there are solutions out there to make the process a bit easier. Organizations working on making the move to a hybrid model should also consider deploying Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) or a Managed Security Partner (MSP). These cost-effective alternatives means you get a remote team of consultants that can become an extension of an organization’s IT department. SaaS or MSPs can be particularly beneficial for businesses that can’t afford a comprehensive IT department as well.
Secure Your Hybrid Workforce with Kyber Security
Here at Kyber Security, we understand that security can fall by the way side when working from home. But, we also know how important it is to keep your organization protected from evolving threats. While we provide 24/7 support, our Security First philosophy ensures your organization will always have security top of mind, as we utilize an in-depth approach with a combination of traditional and new technologies.