With the gradual lifting of restrictions, organizations have discarded remote work in favor of a hybrid workplace – a mix of an at-home and in-office policy.
This doesn’t come without its challenges. Least of which is how are you going to protect sensitive data and other online assets from the vulnerabilities of a hybrid workplace.
Since security is always at the top of the list of priorities, in this article, we will explain what are the biggest hybrid workplace threats and five ways to promote online safety to a mobile workforce.
#1 Use a VPN
Virtual private networks (VPN) are products and services that create a private network from a public internet connection. This scrambles your browsing data and makes it almost impossible for hackers to decrypt your online activity.
With a series of encryptions and access controls, VPNs are a great deterrent to attackers from tracking movement online and stealing sensitive data.
VPNs are essential for securing public and shared wireless networks, especially if the Wi-Fi connection isn’t password protected (even with the new Wi-Fi 6 connection).
Using a VPN ensures that your wireless connection doesn’t provide easy access to your business data if no one is at the office.
#2 Protect your passwords
While a VPN is an excellent tool, it’s only as strong as the passwords and passphrases that it’s meant to protect.
In fact, the Colonian Pipeline hack in 2021 was blamed on an attacker who gained entry to their data via an unused VPN. The issue: the VPN didn’t have multifactor authentication.
Multifactor authentication is a cybersecurity measure where several methods of identity verification are required for accessing valuable data behind password-protected accounts.
One way to resolve this problem is to use a password manager to protect your user and login data.
If you’re looking to choose a password management solution for your business, make sure that it does include multifactor verification.
#3 Secure work-issued devices
Working in a hybrid workplace means that you and the people you work with will commute a lot between their home and office. It’s highly likely that they move their work-issued devices back and forth, which raises the chance of forgetting it at either location or losing it en route.
NOTE: Never use a personal device for business or to handle work-related data!
As convenient as it may be, a company device has more integrated security measures onto its hardware than your personal device.
If you’re downloading a file or app to a work-issued device, vet it and request permission to do so from your internal or managed IT professionals. Unknown files, apps, and programs have security gaps that make them an ideal gateway for cyber attacks.
Please read our full article on the 10 cybersecurity gaps you should know about (and how to fix each one).
#4 Educate staff and employees
Human error is the #1 cause of cyber attacks. This includes phishing scams and other serious threats to business data security, and all it takes is one wrong click.
In fact, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (and the rise of the remote and hybrid workspace) phishing attacks have risen by a staggering 55%.
Here are 5 clear signs of phishing attempts and how to react if you’re under attack.
Cybersecurity awareness is the first line of defense. So it’s vital to educate your staff on the best security practices, password protecion, personal device usage at the office, and how to identify security threats when they happen.
#5 Practice a Zero Trust policy
Zero trust is a security policy that’s exactly what it sounds like: TRUST NO ONE. This policy extends to all users, including business partners, employees, and even C-level executives.
Businesses that employ the Zero Trust model limit who has access to sensitive data and data sources. Staff that does have access to various sources, on the other hand, is heavily vetted before given access to that kind of information.
A basic mantra behind this concept is: If someone doesn’t need a particular piece of information, DON’T SHARE IT WITH THEM.
This means never sharing passwords and login data, especially via email, messaging solutions, or via video conference calls.
Stay smart and secure
A hybrid work environment creates many vulnerabilities for your business, and managing your cybersecurity can be overwhelming if you don’t have a dedicated team running it.
But we’re here to help.
Demakis Technologies is a professional IT service provider that specializes in managed services, helpdesk support, and, yes, network and cyber security.
CONTACT US to get in touch with one of our IT security experts and gain a piece of mind in the knowledge that your business is well protected from online threats.