Hybrid Working

Hybrid Working Atmosphere & the Need for Zero-Trust Policies

Having grown used to working from home over the past two years, companies are continuing to accept remote work for the foreseeable future, even as things return to normal.  This results in a dynamic, hybrid working team, which includes a mix of office and remote working at various times throughout the week.

The Beginning of the Hybrid Workforce

Many studies have been conducted in the past year to assess the effectiveness of remote and hybrid working, and the overwhelming majority of employees have said that the benefits exceed any drawbacks of doing so.

According to a study, more than half of those who responded said they had been able to maintain or increase productivity as a result of working from home more often.  When you combine this with a better work/life balance, more flexible hours and less stress as a result of less travel, the employee advantages are undeniably compelling.

As well as employees, employers gain from a hybrid working model since it allows for a more diverse talent pool that includes previously inaccessible distant areas for recruiting, as well as cost savings through hot-desking and decreased office space needs.

Change Entails Some level of Risk

When the epidemic initially caused the majority of people to work from home in 2020, many companies found themselves in a difficult situation because the shift had to take place overnight. There was no time to prepare and just time to react.

It was necessary to make decisions quickly and without the chance to conduct any risk assessments. Tools and apps that were previously only utilized by 10-20 percent of remote workers have to be scalable to almost 100 percent of the workforce in a dependable manner today.

The speed and success with which organizations were able to adjust to this new way of working was nothing short of remarkable, but cybercriminals were able to take advantage of the situation as well. A large number of threats were observed against sensitive targets such as education and healthcare. There were many reports of ransomware and data theft in the media, and everyone became acquainted with new terms such as “Zoom-bombing.”

The moment has come, 18 months after the event, to take a step back and assess the new work environment that has developed. Security principles such as confidentiality, integrity, and availability should be reviewed and re-evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that we are meeting regulatory compliance and maintaining adequate data security levels in the technologies we use.

Shifting for Hybrid Working Situations

Prior to the widespread use of remote working, expenditures for information technology and information security were devoted to initiatives that enhanced the corporate network, consolidated data centers, or brought additional offices online.

With a hybrid workforce paradigm, these budgets should be re-evaluated to take into account new expectations for how, where, and when workers now work, as well as the customer experience when doing business with them.

Budget Priorities Must be Re-Evaluated

Employees that depend on collaboration, continuous system access, or instant access to current/confidential business data may find that cloud solution are more successful when used in conjunction with remote working arrangements.

Attackers Exploiting IoT

The growth of the Internet of Things, driven by home gadgets operating on residential networks that are now considered “part of the business network,” raises the danger of a cyberattack.

Attackers are aware that residential Internet of Things devices may be susceptible to flaws in their firmware and password configurations. They will take advantage of these vulnerabilities in order to get access to company devices and data.

New Security Rules

New security rules are required to allow all workers to participate in hybrid working arrangements. Employees should have the same experience with the corporate network regardless of whether they are at the office, at home, in a hotel, or anywhere else.

If a VPN has been installed, it should be applied to all users, regardless of their geographical location at all times. Since the improved user experience, it is also simpler for the security team to identify abnormalities quicker because they have a complete picture of their environment.

Zero-Trust Policies

Because of remote working, endpoint management must adapt in order to meet the increased security perimeter that has been established. If a remote device is not properly secured, it poses a threat to the organization.

In this case, a Zero Trust approach may be used to solve the problem by never automatically trusting any device or connection, whether it is within or outside the corporate network perimeter.

Summing Up

It has been necessary for us to move more quickly towards remote and now hybrid working arrangements during the past year and a half. Now that we have returned to work, there is still a lot to accomplish since everything goes at breakneck speed.

An ideal balance between remote and in-office working may be achieved in a hybrid workplace, which benefits both employees in terms of work/life balance and businesses in terms of decreasing office space and investing in new technology.

We are all about to embark on a journey into the future of work. Although a smooth shift is unlikely, individuals should be able to accept and grow into these new models.

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