Hybrid working is an excellent opportunity for businesses to improve employee satisfaction, by giving staff more freedom within their roles, employees can avoid lengthy commutes, stay in bed longer, and complete work at their own pace – potentially improving engagement by up to 45%.
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However, if the company resources used for remote work are not appropriately secured, data breaches, technical issues, and help desk queries can quickly add up to a significant loss of productivity, with data suggesting 40% of hybrid workers report wasted time due to tech issues.
Are you doing enough to make hybrid work safe and smooth for your workforce?
Keep reading as we explore some of the vulnerabilities businesses can face when implementing hybrid work, including the best ways to combat these vulnerabilities and improve engagement.
Securing Cloud-Based Resources
The flexibility of hybrid work is not possible without cloud-based applications, though poorly secured cloud-based data can be easily exposed to cyber-attacks. Businesses must ensure that policies are in place to keep sensitive employee, customer and company data secure, as 38% of the costs associated with data breaches come as a result of significant losses in productivity.
Here are some of the best cybersecurity tools designed to protect cloud-based resources:
1. VPN – A VPN will allow employees to remain anonymous when using the internet by hiding IP addresses from hackers, criminals can steal personal data and even home addresses using IP hacks, leading to physical danger, stress and lost engagement
2. Encryption – By encrypting sensitive company data, staff can ensure that any stolen files will be illegible to hackers. Only those with a corresponding cipher can understand encrypted communications, helping to ensure that data loss doesn’t lead to downtime
3. Firewalls – Untrustworthy sources must be prevented from entering private networks to prevent the time and resource costs of data loss. Malicious attacks account for 52% of costly data breaches, meaning companies must implement firewalls to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, as well as provide security alerts to warn of any suspicious activity
These tools can minimize the risk of third-party cybersecurity breaches, and help to keep employees focused on their work, allowing teams to implement online work platforms safely.
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Providing Employees With Cybersecurity Training
Businesses must ensure that all employees know how to manage their own cybersecurity. Human error is responsible for 82% of cybersecurity breaches, indicating that failing to provide employees with sufficient cybersecurity training puts company time, resources and safety at risk.
When issuing cybersecurity training, businesses should aim to cover the following topics:
1. Password management – The importance of password health must be understood by employees. Train them on how to set strong passwords and teach them the importance of creating unique phrases across all accounts. 54% of staff are known to reuse the same passwords across multiple accounts, with data suggesting that employees waste 30% of their time resetting lost passwords. Utilizing password management tools to alert employees when their passwords are weak when they have reused an old password, or when one of their passwords is compromised will help to rectify these issues
2. Phishing scams – Malicious attempts to steal company and personal information are amongst the most common cybersecurity risks. Employees must be taught how to check that online sources can be trusted. Teach your employees about phishing scams, ransomware, and malware attacks as these risks account for up to 98% of cyber threats
3. Software update policies – When employees use their own devices to access company resources, businesses must ensure that their software is up to date. Data indicates that wasted productivity due to obsolete technology costs US businesses around $1.8 billion every year, so teach your staff the importance of performing frequent software updates
Prioritizing Physical Security
When operating a hybrid work model, identifying intruders on your premises can become more challenging as security resources will likely be spread across remote and on-site teams. For this reason, it’s important that physical and cyber security policies are treated equally by ensuring that your property is only ever accessible to authorized personnel holding verified credentials.
By implementing cloud-based access controls, security teams can ensure that system admins are able to view, adjust and revoke active credentials used to access installed door locks as well as manage wider on-site security devices while working remotely via a cloud-based platform.
This means admins can grant access permissions to authorized employees even if their physical credentials have been misplaced, as well as deactivate lost access cards. A quick and accessible system like this will help prevent wasted time and ensure that the property is secure.
Additionally, if new hires, interviewees, or contractors require temporary building access, system admins will not need to waste time traveling to the office to present physical access credentials.
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Merging Cyber And Physical Security
You can use physical security to ensure no third parties can access your on-premise digital resources. For example, if a user attempts and fails too many login procedures, you can establish a physical security response with lockdown systems. Using a door lockdown system will prevent users from leaving the premises without your security team verifying their identity.
Alarms And Safety Precautions
Your employees deserve to feel safe at work. Feelings of insecurity and stress in the workplace not only have a negative impact on your employees’ mental health, but research suggests that stressed staff are 60% more likely to call out from work and 77% less productive when present.
Business owners must provide smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to comply with industry health and safety regulations. But you might also consider implementing cloud-based alarm systems used to detect intrusion, broken glass, and gunshots on site. By creating remote-access alerts for these occurrences, you can ensure an agile and effective incident response as well as contribute to a more positive and engaged workplace environment.
Security is the cornerstone of success when considering ways to improve hybrid work models. Not only will a more secure work environment contribute to higher employee engagement metrics, but the financial and productivity losses associated with data breaches can be avoided.
Hybrid work models can only be safely implemented using cloud-based systems, though these networks will require comprehensive cybersecurity protections, both in terms of technology and human risk management training. Utilizing the tips in this guide will help teams to achieve this.
Source: Cosmo Politian