In the first part of this two-part blog, The Ultimate Guide to Securing Your Company's Data in the New Hybrid Work Environment (Part 1), we looked at the growing shift towards hybrid work models and why organizations need to improve their security measures as a result.
The blog defined what the hybrid work model is, why organizations transitioning to this environment need to implement new security measures to protect their data and what some of the most common cybersecurity threats are for your organization.
In the second part of this blog, Genesis Integration is going to list some of the measures and best practices you can implement into your organization to ensure you are able to properly protect your data and information from cybercrime as you transition to a hybrid work environment.
So, let’s get started, here are some of the top security considerations your business should implement to protect your data as an increasing number of employees work outside of your physical office:
#1 - Make the most of cloud applications
Using cloud-based applications for your hybrid workforce is smart for a number of reasons. Since your employees will be working from both in and out of the office, cloud technology provides your employees with seamless access to work from wherever they need it and significantly improves collaboration on projects.
Most importantly, cloud-based technology will protect your company’s data through automated data backups and world-class security measures. Developers of cloud applications are large companies who put extensive research and investment in ensuring that their products are secure for your company to use.
#2 - Set up two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security to protect your employee’s accounts. It does this by verifying the identity of your employee before they can log into an account, this often involves an automated method where your employee is sent a code to their mobile phone which they must enter to be able to log in.
#3 - Use a virtual private network (VPN)
When your employees are working remotely, you run the risk that they are working off public WiFi connections such as in their local coffee shop or library. These public connections are unsecured, meaning traffic travelling to the devices can be intercepted by hackers.
To protect your remote employees working in public WiFi connections, it’s important to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt all of your employee’s internet traffic to ensure that any data shared with your internal networks is safe from cybercriminals.
#4 - Practice good password management
Password reuse is a serious security issue, yet many companies aren’t implementing processes that ensure their employees manage their passwords effectively. According to a 2020 study from InfoSecurity Magazine:
- 45 percent of respondents did not consider password reuse to be serious
- 31 percent use the same password for streaming sites as they do for ‘more sensitive’ accounts
While working from home, employees can use password managers such as Lastpass to generate strong passwords and ensure they aren’t being reused across multiple accounts. Employees can then manage these passwords without having to remember them and change them frequently to boost company security even further.
#5 - Update operating system and software
There’s a reason that operating systems and software is updated regularly by its developers, and it’s because they introduce new bug fixes and create new patches that secure any vulnerabilities that have been found within the technology. By not updating your operating system and software when required, you are leaving gaps in your company’s security.
By encouraging employees to update their operating system, software and hardware as they become available, you will be protecting your organization from cybersecurity threats that impact legacy systems.
#6 - Train your employees!
It’s all well and good implementing the tools and technologies required to protect your organization, but your employees truly are the first line in defence against cyber threats. That’s why training your employees in security measures and best practices is one of the key ways to keep your company secure.
This training should include everything from good password hygiene, education on phishing scams, internet usage best practices (such as downloading files and storing data), and much more. Your employees, especially when working from home, should be actively participating in your organization's cybersecurity strategy.
For your business to transition to a successful hybrid work model, it’s simply essential that your employees know how to protect company data from possible threats.
Do you have any further questions on protecting your organization from cybercrime, as your workplace evolves into a hybrid work environment? Contact the Genesis Integration team of tech experts today. We would love to help.