Hybrid Cybersecurity: Is Your Company Ready For The Risks?

Are your employees steadily making their way back to the office? If you’re like many businesses, you’ve spent the last several months making appropriate arrangements for a return, or partial return, to a central location.

For safety reasons, as well as due to changing norms, this largely means an embrace of hybrid operations or a rotational schedule – but from a technical perspective, this can be complicated.

In order to run a successful hybrid workplace, businesses need to carefully weigh the cybersecurity issues at stake. Not only are many standard systems likely out of date after months working remotely, but the tools needed to manage a divided workforce can also pose their own challenges.

Update And Reorient

The first step towards addressing your organization’s cybersecurity needs as it shifts to ongoing hybrid operations is simply to make sure that all of your systems are fully updated. While remote employees may have managed these updates at home, in many cases, the onsite devices have sat neglected. As they go back online, install updates, run malware assessments, and perform a general cleanup so that the backbone of your organization isn’t compromised.

Address BYOD Issues

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies were a hot topic for offices a few years ago, but have fallen out of the headlines more recently. Well, now is the perfect time to reevaluate and enforce BYOD policies. Ensure that returning employees have set passwords on all personal devices used for work activities, even if that’s only email, establish rules barring third-party applications, which often require compromising the device via “jailbreaking,” and encourage staff to slowly minimize BYOD activity. It can take time for staff to transition back to office devices after being tethered to personal laptops for months, but doing so will only benefit your organization’s overall cybersecurity posture.

Undo Bad Habits

Anyone who specializes in cybersecurity can tell you that the most important and most challenging aspect of the field is the human element. How do you secure a system when its safety is, ultimately, based on thousands of individual acts by countless people throughout your organization? It’s difficult and requires vigilance across the entire company, and while working remotely, a lot of employees developed bad habits.

As staff return to the office, then, it’s important that leadership arranges for cybersecurity trainings that review key practices. This may seem superficially repetitive, but it’s important that staff internalize these rigorous security practices.

Know The Facts

It’s easy to think that, as staff return to the office, you can just pick up where you left off. In reality, though, establishing new norms depends on realizing just how serious cybersecurity issues became during the pandemic.

According to a study conducted by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony and reported by Security InfoWatch, malware and other cybersecurity attacks increased when staff began working from home during the pandemic, due to an increase in vulnerabilities, as well as overlap between personal and professional devices.

When faced with this changing risk profile, it becomes clear that a lot of things need to change.

Many industry experts consider hybrid work to be both the new normal and the next major cybersecurity frontier, but what will this look like? Right now, there remains a lot of uncertainty, but uncertainty is okay as long as it’s paired with awareness and action. Pay attention to your systems and your staff and rework your policies to fit these changing times.

This is the nature of life on the frontier: you must be alert and flexible, responding to conditions as you deem necessary for the protection of your organization.

the authorABHIYAN
Abhiyan Chhetri is a cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Abhiyan is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.

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