With the pandemic having come and gone, the hybrid workplace it created is undoubtedly here to stay, whether businesses and employees desire it or not. Also, since hybrid workplaces will increase the number of entry points into the business’s network, it is important to take necessary steps to address all potential cybersecurity issues as more and more employees choose the Work From Home (WFH) option.
A report from Security Intelligence found that about 61% of malware that remote workers experienced in 2021 came through cloud applications. Cybercriminals are targeting more remote workers and applications than ever. This also implies that there will be a rise in the number of attacks in years to come.
Businesses need to understand how well the hybrid system works to protect themselves from the barrage of cyber-attacks that will come their way while implementing and operating a hybrid environment. This article highlights why you should be thinking of hybrid cybersecurity right now. Read on to learn more.
What Does the Hybrid Work Model Mean?
The hybrid work model or environment is a work environment that combines the regular on-premise staff presence with the remote workforce. Nowadays, employees want to go flexible when it comes to working by choosing when and where they can be very productive.
But of course, this work model cannot fit businesses the same way, so there will be some adjustments. After all, the most successful hybrid applications have been agile and flexible. This is because they aim to meet the constantly-changing demands of employees, management, and the rules that will come with them.
Hybrid Work Risks
Many risks come with the implementation of hybrid work. Here are some of them:
- Home networks are usually very basic systems, which makes them easy to hack. Also, most home network users tend to use the default settings and passwords.
- People typically connect their devices to other devices, such as printers. These devices are usually very easy to hack and are a major source of cyber-attacks.
- Family members might not understand the gravity of exposing work devices to various attack vectors, after which one is just enough to cause as much damage as possible.
- Smart devices could be hacked and used to listen in on secret conversations, such as a boardroom meeting or a bedroom conversation.
- Failure to update the devices could cause hackers to exploit the vulnerabilities that outdated software and devices bring.
- Insider threats will always be a big threat when businesses opt for hybrid environments, as employees always need to access data.
- While public Wi-Fi is a free resource, the level of cybersecurity issues should imply that people (especially employees) should not use it as they have proven to be sources of hack attacks.
- Home network-initiated attacks can be used to enter the office network. This is how a distributed denial-of-service begins.
- Everything that can happen in the office work environment can also happen off work premises. It’s even more difficult to put the right things in place after a successful attack when outside work premises.
- For users who do not use VPN, your security levels are lower than usual and can be easily hacked into. Remote monitoring is usually a result of this.
How to Defend Yourself and Your Business in Hybrid Environments
There are many tools and methods to increase your security levels as a hybrid worker. This section highlights some of these measures:
Email scanning and filtering
Email filtering solutions can sift all emails (inbound and outbound) and scan them to know which folder to place each. Some of these folders include spam, suspicious, impostor, bulk, malware, and phishing.
Virtual private networks
Virtual private networks give users anonymity, added security levels, and privacy when using private WIFI or home networks.
Multifactor authentication (MFA)
Multifactor authentication (MFA) refers to the security method that gives users access to accounts only after providing at least two ways to prove that they are the account owners.
Endpoint detection and response
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) systems allow you to defend your computer network and other devices that are remotely connected to your home network.
Encryption systems are also a way to protect access to stored data on specific devices. Unwanted access to encrypted files causes the files to appear in an unreadable format.
Antivirus software is an excellent way to guard devices from malware intrusions and attacks and eliminate the ones already in the system. It is important to update antivirus to keep up with the numerous new malware that crops up each day.
Password managers refer to digital storage vaults that house passwords and other login information. You can store your passwords if you forget them a lot and use them to log in automatically if you wish.
Back up your data
Backup is always crucial. Back up all your vital data and be ready for any possible incidents. You should also think about protecting your backed-up data.
Use collaborative tools
Provide safe collaboration tools to improve productivity in virtual workspaces. Apps like Teams and DropBox can help virtual work move smoothly and increase productivity. Sharing documents and messages is easier on these apps, rather than email, as it puts all your information in one place. These apps also help you use all features in a single app rather than installing numerous apps.
Let Connect2Geek Design the Best Hybrid Cybersecurity Setup For Your Business
Are you looking to improve your business’s cybersecurity levels for your hybrid staff? Let Connect2Geek design the plan best suited to your company while offering other services you might need.
Contact us today to get started.