As the image of the post-pandemic workplace is still forming, one thing is clear: the work-from-anywhere situation will be part of the new normal. How this will affect IT operations also continues to take shape.
According to an article from Stanford University published in Econofact, pre-COVID work-from-home numbers were incredibly low. Between January and May 2020, there was a 12-fold increase in full paid days worked from home. And while the post-pandemic numbers show that remote work has diminished, the number of people working from anywhere besides the office is still much higher than it was prior to the pandemic.
Most companies are dealing with a hybrid situation where they have some employees working out of the office while others retain their work-from-anywhere status. The challenge moving forward will be creating a collaborative working environment with the right technology. At the same time, security concerns have to be considered in this hybrid situation.
In most situations, the employees working remotely are doing so on unsecured home devices. A fast way to boost security is to use virtual private networks and encryption, but the average employee simply doesn’t think to do these things.
When employees are working from personal computers, which are historically not as secure as corporate computers, they also open a door to malicious activity. Employees using their personal computers ignore encryption, and they are also often without firewalls, which most IT experts consider the ground floor of security protocols.
Personal computers are also a gateway for phishing activity, often via email. Without email filtering, cyber criminals can easily sneak in emails that would otherwise be snagged and sent to a junk folder or bounced back to the sender.
Yet another basic security protocol that is often ignored involves passwords. Weak passwords, even when other basic digital security measures are taken, can be your downfall. Using strong passwords is a good first step in making employees more accountable, but bringing in multifactor authentication adds better protection for keeping bad actors out of your network.
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