Hybrid working has been one of the biggest changes the workplace has seen in years. With staff in many businesses splitting their time between working from home and in the office, organisations need to know that there’s nothing to prevent their staff from doing their jobs without any compromise.
Much of the UK workforce has worked from home regularly, and many businesses have made the decision to go either fully remote or hybrid. Others are still undecided on their long-term plans.
It is vital for businesses with a dispersed workforce to take security seriously. Hybrid working presents different challenges not faced by staff all being in offices all the time. Check out our security tips for hybrid working to help your staff get the most from their flexible working days.
Secure Hybrid Work
Use a VPN
Hybrid working could involve accessing important documents and data from anywhere. It’s not limited to just the office or at home. Hybrid workers could be working from public locations, connected to unprotected Wi-Fi networks. These pose a significant risk to your business data, as you never know who else is connected to the network.
A VPN creates a secure connection from the device in question to your network. It will look like the device is on the business network and will receive all the protections. For anyone working away from an office, the protections of a VPN are a must.
Where possible, all online accounts your staff access should have multi-factor authentication enabled. Where MFA is available, make sure it is being used. There are a few options for MFA – text messages, emails and phone calls with confirmation codes are commonly used, but we think there’s a better option.
We always recommend using an authenticator app – Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator are both great options. These apps have a 6 digit code that changes every 30 seconds. Install one on your mobile and add as many accounts as possible.
Cyber awareness training is vital to ensure the safety of your business online. The majority of successful cyberattacks relied on human nature, with staff inadvertently opening the doors to their organisation to cyber criminals.
Teach your staff to recognise common cyberthreats on a regular basis. Phishing emails are one of the most common forms of attack, so train them to recognise phishing attempts, in particular what to look for in every email they receive.
Many businesses adopting a hybrid approach have allowed staff to work from a device of their choice. While this gives greater freedom, it doesn’t come without risks. The combination of personal and business docs and data needs to be considered.
For businesses letting staff work from any device, they need to implement a strong BYOD policy, so that everyone is clear on where they stand, and who is responsible for what.
Know who to speak to
If problems arise for remote and hybrid workers, they need to know who to speak to and how to get in touch with them. Whether your business’ IT is managed internally or externally, your team need swift resolutions to their issues so they can be up and running as quickly as possible.
As well as swift recoveries, they need to know that they are free to report anything. If they realise they’ve clicked on a phishing email link, they need to know they can report this without the fear of being told off. If they try and cover it up, the consequences could be severe for the business.
We think hybrid working is the future. The days of all staff coming to an office 9-5 Monday to Friday are long gone. With a few tweaks to IT policies and systems, supporting hybrid workers can be done easily.
Not happy with the IT in your business? Have a no obligation chat with one of our IT experts and discuss your needs today.