How to secure your company in hybrid working times
October 26, 2022
Article by Neil Thurston, Chief Technologist Logicalis UK&I.
The workplace of today is hybrid in many ways. Physical office space remains but is combined with remote working capabilities and virtual communications. There are those who work from home full-time and there are those who split their time across different locations. The hours people work vary greatly, as do the locations they work in.
In other words, the workplace is fluid and flexible, driven by what works for both the individuals themselves and their organisations. The opportunities around this hybrid working world are rife, but so too are the threats.
Yes, productivity levels are up, but so too are the pitfalls that people working remotely can potentially fall into. Staff satisfaction is arguably being boosted by new workstyles, as is the sophistication of cyberattacks.
So, the question then becomes, how can companies secure their data, systems, operations, and people in hybrid working times?
Pick solutions carefully
In this day and age, given the heightened frequency and sophistication of attacks, as well as the massive attack area that now exists for a lot of companies as a result of hybrid working, a Zero Trust approach is growing in popularity. Unlike a legacy VPN or legacy security approach where things are centralised, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Zero Trust Network Access can be deployed to deliver security to people across locations and provide greater agility from a security perspective.
While VPN was great in terms of allowing access to the network once connected, users can basically attach to anything they want. Instead, Zero Trust Network Access establishes a process where users not only need to prove their identity to gain access, but this access is also managed so that people are only able to open and work with the applications and systems they need. Micro-segmentation is another approach companies should consider in terms of managing their attack sphere, controlling access, and securing the network.
Of course, it is likely that your requirements will evolve over time. Therefore, the solutions you deploy also need to be constantly reviewed and realigned to continually support growth and security. That’s why the proof of concept needs to coincide with what your organisation needs now and have the ability to be scaled or adapted for the future. By aligning objectives, transforming through the right solutions and building in the ability to scale, your chances of business and security success will be enhanced.
Prioritise regular training
Security is not just about access and technology. After all, threats like ransomware encompass every device, process and person across an organisation. People can either be your biggest security asset or your biggest attack threat, depending on the training they are provided. Therefore, business leaders need to ensure they are covering all aspects in terms of cybersecurity, information security and human security.
As well as security awareness training, another vital element is security phishing simulation to ensure people are actually putting such skills into practice when faced with real-life scenarios. Again, this needs to be reviewed, updated and tested on an ongoing basis – reflecting the constant evolution of the threat landscape and attack surface.
When people worked in the office, the threat was contained within those perimeters so to speak, but now a worker could be working on a train and the wrong person could be sitting behind them and making a note of their login details. Data loss prevention is another aspect, with people able to steal data from an unattended laptop using a USB. However, with Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions, postures can be put in place so that if someone is not in the office, it’s not possible for sensitive data to be saved to USB drives or for users to even open such files in untrusted locations.
Again, communication and education around these risks can be helpful for preventing breaches. Multifactor authentication can also help here in terms of securing information, devices and people working in public spaces. Through the combination of technology, training and testing, your company will benefit, with staff members more alert to the dangers and better equipped to deal with them effectively.
Partner up with an expert
Security is a complex area and a 24/7 consideration. It’s not an area where a company can afford to be complacent or under-resourced. That can lead to mistakes and breaches, which can be very detrimental not just financially but in terms of reputational damage and service delivery disruption.
That is often why organisations decide to outsource this part of the business. By engaging with a security or managed services expert, you will gain access to the most suitable solutions for your business and years of experience. As well as strengthening your security position and providing support, having a partner can free up internal resources, allowing them to focus on more business-critical tasks.
Working with a partner also means that even in the worst-case scenario, important safeguards like data backup aren’t overlooked. For example, ransomware can steal and encrypt data, so having copies for restoration purposes is key. While the hope is that this situation will never arise, it is best to be prepared when it comes to matters of security and ready for any future incidents.
With hybrid working likely to be a fixture for the future and undoubtedly offering many opportunities for organisations, they must adapt to ensure they are empowering people, driving growth and securing operations. With the right solutions, adequate training and an expert partner, you can enhance your security strategy and have peace of mind that your business – including data, infrastructure, staff and customers – is better protected and best placed to take advantage of hybrid working times.
Get in touch with the Q Associates and Logicalis team today to see how we can help you transform your workplace and secure your business in hybrid working times!
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