Reducing Risk in the Hybrid Work Environment
The work environment underwent drastic changes at the onset of the pandemic as offices had to be abandoned and new work processes adopted with a newly remote workforce. And while offices are beginning to fill up again, some of the changes experienced during the pandemic will be permanent. The question many have is, “has the workplace as we know it changed for good?” A hybrid work environment is something many chief information officers (CIOs) have considered.
The future of work will probably look something like this: some office workers will return full-time; some will return to a part-time remote work, part-time office work hybrid; and some will never return, choosing instead to work entirely remote. The hybrid work environment poses a challenge that deserves to be considered in your cyber security strategy.
Logging in to the company system from remote places, such as coffee houses or other public places, poses a significant risk for the unprepared. Also, consider the devices that flow in and out of the office – often personal devices used to access the company network – and need to be considered in your cyber security plan.
Chief information officers (CIOs) are stretched rather thin, which means keeping security managers’ heads on swivels and looking every which way for vulnerabilities is a challenge, to say the least. Security teams are sometimes understaffed, but more so today in light of the demands put in place by the pandemic. Given that cyber attacks spiked last year, by some accounts more than 200% globally, it’s clear that cyber criminals are jumping on vulnerabilities.
The move to work remotely came swiftly, which means many mistakes were made – mistakes that can lead to network security risks. One way to mitigate risk is to update software patches. It’s an easy thing to do that many security teams fail to do as quickly as they should.
Establishing what has been called a “quarantine network” is a smart move on behalf of forward-thinking CIOs who demand that all devices that are not solely used internally must log on to the quarantine network until it can be determined that the device is safe and free of infections that might spread across the entire network. The future of work demands that CIOs and security teams take a more detailed approach to protecting their hybrid work environment.
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