A survey performed by Gallup in June 2022 found that 80% of people were working hybrid or remotely, while only 10% were working on-site.
Hybrid working presents many benefits, offering employees a better work-life balance and reducing commuting costs. But what does it mean for your security?
Keep reading as we discuss how you can strengthen your cybersecurity strategy in light of hybrid working and reduce your risk of a data breach.
Require A VPN For Employees Working from Home
Your employees should only work from secure devices, whether from home or in the office. Establishing a policy that requires employees to use VPNs when working from home reduces your vulnerability due to compromised home networks.
A VPN will protect your employees’ IP addresses while using your company resources and provide them with online anonymity. The VPN will re-route your employees’ network access through external servers, concealing their location.
Implementing a VPN for employees working from home will significantly reduce your exposure and ensure that working from home does not come at the cost of network privacy.
Implement MFA Across the Board
Multi-factor authentication is a security measure that prevents a user from logging into your network or accessing your building using stolen passwords or access credentials. In addition to providing a password or keycard, you require employees to provide another means of authentication, such as:
- Biometrics – biometrics confirm identity by requiring biometric information from your employees to permit access such as:
- Fingerprints – you can implement fingerprint scanning at your building’s entrance or opt for devices with built-in fingerprint scanners to identify your employees.
- Facial recognition – you can pair surveillance and access control to implement facial recognition at your building’s entrance or device cameras to implement identity verification before your employee login.
- Verification codes and login confirmations – Google and other sites are beginning to use verification codes via text and cross-account login confirmation to verify a user’s identity before they can log into their accounts. You can do the same for your company’s operating systems.
By implementing MFA, you reduce your exposure to breaches caused by stolen passwords and access credentials – a significant vulnerability in both cyber and physical security systems.
Upgrade Physical Security
Your physical security plays a vital role in your data security, and you must prevent unauthorized users from accessing your office building – home to many digital assets. Below is a list of some of the essential physical security tools to consider for your hybrid workplace:
- Cloud-based access control – access control is necessary to eliminate the possibility of lockpicking at your commercial office. Opting for a cloud-based access control system allows you to implement keycards, fobs, and mobile credentials as a means of entry. It also provides the following advantages:
- Touchless entry – when you implement mobile access credentials, you can allow your employees to enter touchless by waving their hands over the access reader. The motion of their writing will trigger remote communication with their mobile device to unlock the door.
- Remote operation – your security team can remotely unlock and lock doors for more responsive security. They can also view access logs from anywhere to enhance security visibility.
- Cloud-based surveillance cameras – you need documentation of any incidents occurring on your property. With cloud-based surveillance cameras, there is no need for complex wiring systems or server storage. Your security team can check security cameras from anywhere and receive mobile alerts for potential threats by integrating video analytics. Opting for a varifocal security camera will also ensure that your security footage provides enough detail to aid an investigation.
Implementing these technologies will help you to ensure that a physical security breach does not lead to a data breach at your hybrid workplace.
Implement A Zero Trust Strategy
Zero trust is a cybersecurity policy that protects your business from cybersecurity threats originating within the company – whether from a breached employee account or a malicious attempt to poach information.
Zero-trust requires the company to implement role-based access permissions for all resources hosted on the network. Simply being able to access the network does not guarantee that the company should trust you to access the company’s most valuable assets.
The same goes for your physical security. Users on the system should only gain credentials to access the areas they need to perform their daily duties. It would be best if you reinforced rooms like server rooms and rooms housing crucial assets with intelligent door locks and video security to reduce the potential for internal breaches in these areas.
Prioritize Employee Cybersecurity Training
You should provide employees with cybersecurity training on the following topics to minimize your exposure to cybersecurity events caused by human error:
- Password health – you should establish password policies requiring your employees to use unique passwords of adequate strength for each account in your network.
- Software updates – you should train your employees on regularly performing software updates. If your employees access your company’s resources using outdated software, this could present a cybersecurity risk.
- Malicious activity – your employees should be briefed on the basics of spotting phishing scams and the importance of withholding information from untrusted sources.
One of the biggest concerns for companies implementing a hybrid work model is the potential for cybersecurity risks. By implementing the security practices listed in this article, you can ensure that hybrid working does not come at the expense of your cybersecurity. Consider whether your mixed work business could be vulnerable and which tools could bridge the gaps in your strategy.