How To Make Hybrid Work Environments Secure

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented shift in the way we all work. Although most companies initially relied on a fully remote work model, the rollout of the vaccine has led to the growing popularity of hybrid work environments. A hybrid work environment includes elements of both the traditional on-site work model and the remote work model. Employees can choose to work from home, at the office, or a combination of both.

How To Make Hybrid Work Environments Secure

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented shift in the way we all work. Although most companies initially relied on a fully remote work model, the rollout of the vaccine has led to the growing popularity of hybrid work environments. A hybrid work environment includes elements of both the traditional on-site work model and the remote work model. Employees can choose to work from home, at the office, or a combination of both.

Hybrid environments have certain advantages including:

• Employee Happiness

Hybrid environments help to boost employee morale since there is opportunity for collaboration with colleagues at the office, as well as working remotely when needed personally.

• Better Productivity

The flexibility employees receive with the hybrid work model helps them focus on their work when they are at their most productive. In a survey by Microsoft, 82% of business leaders reported better productivity when flexible work schedules were adopted.

• Reduced Costs

Companies no longer need to provide office spaces for their entire workforce all at once and employees need no longer need to commute daily to their offices. It helps reduce costs significantly on both ends.

• Better Protection Against the Pandemic

Although vaccination is encouraged all over the world, the World Health Organization has suggested that everyone follow measures such as social distancing for the near future. Keeping this in mind, a hybrid environment certainly checks off all the boxes.

On the other hand, hybrid work environments do have their share of disadvantages as well. Amongst these, heightened cyber risks need immediate attention and remediation.

The Problem and the Solution

Flexible work locations lead to cyberattacks and associated pitfalls like data loss because many employee home computers operate outside of the secure corporate perimeter. That is why 88% of businesses believe it is vital to secure remote work tools and protect customer or employee data in the distributed work environment.  This puts the responsibility on the companies to protect their important  and private digital assets through regular software updates, proper password management, strong and fast data backups and business continuity solutions, ongoing employee training, and more.

Hence, asset management is imperative for the diagnostics and remediation of vulnerabilities and threats. Keeping a tab of all software and hardware your business owns and works with can be an ideal first step towards successfully managing your digital assets. It should not just be a one-dimensional process of noting down the model number, serial number, location, etc. Asset management for security and data breach protection in regard to hybrid work environments needs a more in-depth approach. For this, there should be a clear picture of the operating system, the patch levels, the configurations and even the state of known vulnerabilities.

Asset management provides a firm foundation for risk assessment of your business’ hybrid work environment. Risk assessment helps identify:

• Internal and external vulnerabilities in your business.

• Threats to the business’ data, systems, software, cloud and networks.

• Consequences/impact if the threats go after these vulnerabilities.

• Possibility of harm and downtime that may eventually occur.

Remember, regular risk assessment offers the following benefits to your business:

1. Identifying Your Risk Profile:

Detecting threats and sorting risks based on their potential for harm helps you focus your efforts on more urgent pain points.

2. Protecting Your Digital Assets:

Risk assessments help you to determine ways to protect your critical assets and vital data in the distributed or remote work environment.

3. Reduce Security Spending:

Regular risk assessments help you reduce security spending because you know where you need to allocate your budget to ramp up security.

4. Actionable Analytics:

Availability of information that gives enough insight into the future helps you take proper actions to improve your business’ security.

5. Keeps You Compliant:

When you handle your business assets and data securely through regular assessments, you can save your business from a regulatory violation.

The Decision Is Yours to Make!

If you have read this far, chances are you are looking for ways to plug up security loopholes that have risen from introducing the hybrid work model. Although risk assessments and asset management can help you address, reduce or avoid security challenges, you may be confused about where to even start.

By collaborating with a partner like us here at Tekie Geek and taking advantage of our expertise in risk assessment and asset management, you can prevent these risks from escalating into full-blown disasters. Contact us now to get started!

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