As Canada begins to lift COVID-19 restrictions, more and more companies are deciding to make hybrid working permanent. Hybrid working is a setup that allows employees to divide their time working from home and at the office, resulting in better flexibility and work-life balance.
The success of this arrangement relies heavily not only on companies’ ability to leverage technology to drive collaboration and productivity, but also on their capability to keep data secure despite the presence of numerous online threats. This is because while hybrid working setups enable easier access to information, they also introduce security risks.
To protect your data and your employees from the risks of hybrid working, be sure to do the following:
1. Prioritize device security
Ensure that employees are using only devices that are compliant with company cybersecurity policies. Some employees may also use their personal devices for work, so it’s critical to implement safeguards like mobile device management to mitigate the exposure of these devices to potentially harmful applications and data leakage.
You should also work to understand your risk profile so you can configure device security properly. Generally, there are three different types of device users: privileged employees (IT admins), regular employees, and contractors/visitors. Each type of user should have a different access level within an organization's network, and the security requirements for each type will vary depending on their role in the enterprise. Implement the principle of least privilege so that all users have only the necessary privileges to complete their tasks.
2. Educate your workforce
Employees working remotely can pose security risks to an organization, so they must understand their roles in keeping the company’s IT systems secure. Provide adequate employee cybersecurity training to prevent them from committing errors that can jeopardize the company. For example, if they need to access confidential information remotely, they must know to use a virtual private network (VPN) to do so.
3. Secure cloud-based solutions and services
As information becomes more scattered across servers in different locations because of a distributed workforce, businesses need to address new issues that arise due to the lack of centralization of resources. One crucial thing to do is to keep cloud-based solutions and services secure at all times. This entails securing several key processes such as authentication and authorization, as well as ensuring round-the-clock data confidentiality and integrity, and availability of services. Also, regularly check VPN logs to verify whether connections have been established from the registered locations and to see if there are any suspicious activities.
4. Optimize productivity and collaboration tools
Optimizing productivity and collaboration tools enables you to better meet hybrid workers’ needs and eliminate their reliance on shadow IT. This can lead employees to use only company-sanctioned apps and devices, letting them work from anywhere without compromising security measures.
5. Implement zero trust
Zero trust is a security strategy that assumes all users and devices are inherently untrustworthy. Because of this, every user has to authenticate themselves and use an approved device to access information.
Enforcing zero trust policies is even more critical if you have remote or hybrid workers, as it allows you to streamline traffic so that you know exactly who is accessing what and from where. This can lead to better transparency and visibility across your organization, enabling you to spot potential problems quickly and identify trends over time.
Hybrid working opens up businesses to numerous cyber risks, making it essential for organizations that adopt this setup to keep sensitive information protected at all times. To maintain secure operations, partner with a trusted managed IT services provider: XBASE Technologies. We offer various security solutions that empower employees to work effectively and securely, no matter where they are based. Contact us today.