The future of work is happening today, and it is expected that many companies will continue a hybrid work approach even after the Pandemic is gone. This transformative year has not only shown us the importance of following guidelines and staying 5 feet away from each other but also prompted companies to re-consider their usual work structure and shift to a more hybrid workforce.
The PwC surveys conducted in June of 2020 show that nearly 55% of workers want to continue working from home even after the Pandemic is gone, and 83% want to work at home at least once a week. It’s not only the employees that are contemplating the shift but also companies, who want to minimize costs and reduce overheads- and the new normal has shown that maybe there isn’t a need for all the large office spaces rented out by businesses, as there was in the past.
To guarantee a successful hybrid model of work, companies need to rely on a skilled remote workforce so that their business can function to its full potential. However, for a successful transition to what may seem like a new normal, an organization needs to have secure protective mechanisms in place, ensuring that all devices have security features installed onto them and that the company data is stored securely, minimizing any threats of cybersecurity or hacking attack.
Suppose you’re a business considering making that shift. In that case, you should consider steps to protect yourself, such as contacting a penetration testing consulting services that can help you manage potential cyber threats and put you at ease knowing that all your classified information is stored securely.
While securing a hybrid workforce model, you should consider implementing access control barriers to ensure that only authorized people can access classified materials.
Companies wanting to ensure that their data is protected and stored securely should consider putting more than a password in place. Two-factor authentication technology is a crucial tool to ensure no third party is gaining access to your information. Implementing such safety measures will minimize any risks associated with your clients being endangered by any phishing scams and reduce other cybersecurity threats.
One of the necessary steps a company should consider when implementing a hybrid approach should be putting a strong emphasis on employees implementing a strong password, granting access to trusted VPN services to their workers, and installing antivirus software on work devices.
As a business, you should also ensure you put strict rules into practice. Your employees must be aware that they shouldn’t handle any classified information that could compromise the business’s integrity if leaked from their personal devices. Personal devices are more prone to being exposed to viruses or may already have them, so it’s easier for those devices to cause a leak in vital information.
COVID-19 became a phishing ground for people trying to scam others through the internet in an unethical, malicious manner. Credit card details can be stolen and other sensitive data leaked.
While employees might be working long hours, sitting in the bright light of the computer, it’s more common than expected that people lose their recognition of websites trying to scam them and fall for a malicious message.
Unfortunately, stress plays a significant role in that, and sitting at the computer for hours, does not play a role in mitigating it but instead makes us more likely to click on a link we wouldn’t have in other circumstances.
Phishing messages have gotten more advanced over the years, with the COVID-19 Pandemic prompting the malicious messaging actors to construct even more realistic deceptions, knowing a vast majority of people are working from home.
Businesses should both invest in educational tools to teach their employees about what links to avoid, how to ensure their safety on the internet, and operating programs to minimize the risks of cyberthreat to their hybrid workforce and devices.
Even Though modern technology plays a huge role in minimizing threats, companies should still have a contingency plan if things do not go according to plan. Having backup solutions for mitigating a danger is the key for the business to flow organically.
This is essential for a cyberthreat not to cause chaos; having a contingency plan in place will ensure your business gets back on track faster. Communication is vital in this instance, and having a protocol list of who to call and what security measures to conduct will ease the process and not put a strain on any work.
Businesses omit this step a lot of the time, but with 2021 fast approaching, companies that want to secure a hybrid workforce should make sure they have contingency plans implemented.
Specialized IT Personal
In remote work times, employees cannot just walk down the stairs in the company’s office and report any technical issues they’re having to IT personnel. Problems occur along the way; technical ones are a big part of it during a pandemic where it seems everyone is having a glitch or two on their laptop.
As a business, make sure you have measures put in place to implement the necessary help for employees who may be having technical issues. Ensure they have the contact details for IT personnel and know what to do when an error occurs. This is also important if an employee believes that data has leaked from their device- they should be aware of the actions to take in such a scenario.
Unfortunately, Insider threats are a real cybersecurity issue, which is even more prone to happen when you have a network of remote workers who work from home, rather than being confined to just other people in the office.
Due to employees gaining unparalleled access to your companies information, the security threat of insider leaks increases. Even with technological advancements and up to date infrastructure, the risk of insider threats is still in place.
To minimize any data breaches, you should ensure you have specialized IT personnel, which are controlling the flow of information that is being downloaded, viewed, or edited by your remote employees, so you can be assured that no employee is accessing data they shouldn’t be, and avoid both accidental and malicious data leaks.
Today we’re living in a new reality, with the future of work happening right before our eyes. With that comes the need for businesses to adapt products, services, and think carefully about their day-to-day operations.
It is crucial for companies now more than ever to implement safety and security measures if they are switching to a remote working model. Enterprises should ensure secure networks and systems, detect cybersecurity-related threats and mitigate any attacks that may come their way.
Author: Alex Szadkowski