Permitting workers to split their time between their home and office can improve job satisfaction and, in some cases, productivity. However, hybrid work arrangements can introduce additional layers of complexity and risk to an organization’s technology systems and data. As such, IT departments need to consider several security technologies, processes, and policies to guard against cybersecurity threats that can be more easily exploited by workers that are on the go or are working in insecure environments.
For starters, security experts interviewed for this article highlight the importance of insisting that hybrid workers utilize virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow a direct, secure connection between their device and a corporate system, as well as virtual desktops (which ensures all activity and data remain within a corporate, secure environment) when accessing company information offsite.
You don’t want a game or app your kids downloaded three months ago to be the reason your company’s network is now compromised.
Chief information Security Officer and Chief Product Officer
IT leaders must also reinforce to hybrid workers that the most basic strategies used to mitigate security risks within a traditional enterprise environment are still relevant, no matter where a worker may be physically located, or what device is used to access network resources.
Steve Tcherchian, chief information security officer and chief product officer at cybersecurity solutions company XYPRO, says that if a worker is permitted to use their personal devices, such as laptops or smartphones to access any company resources or networks, children, spouses, or others in the household should not have any access to these devices, given the possibility that malware or viruses could’ve been inadvertently downloaded.