Although it may seem like a recent shift in the business world, working from home is nothing new. In fact, almost a third of all employed Amercians worked remotely in 2019, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Last year, however, transformed this trend into a norm as businesses across the country adopted the telecommuting business model. As the workforce slowly inches its way back from being almost entirely remote, some organizations are choosing a hybrid workplace instead.
Hybrid Workplace Risks
A hybrid workplace is a business model that combines the physical workplace with the virtual. It consists of employees who work remotely, on-site, or some combination of the two throughout the week. Hybrid offices offer many benefits, including greater flexibility, more autonomy, and lower operational costs. However, before you implement this solution into your company, the dangers of remote access need to be addressed.
Having a hybrid work environment can come with certain security challenges. Your remote employees aren’t going to have corporate-level network security at home. Also, adding extra cloud services to your infrastructure to accommodate these workers creates new areas for hackers to target. Altogether, it may be difficult for your traditional security measures to keep up.
How To Maintain Security When Employees Work Remotely
With the hybrid workplace quickly becoming a primary business model, it’s more important than ever to eliminate work from home risks. Fortunately, securing your virtual staff isn’t too hard. Here are a few tips you can use to make your business more secure.
- Physical Security: First and foremost, your employees need to make sure their devices are physically secure. Whether it’s intentional or not, if other people live in your household, they’re capable of gaining unauthorized access to the sensitive materials you’re working on. Your team should always make sure their equipment is shut down and out of sight.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): Work from home employees have the flexibility to work anywhere there’s an internet connection. While they should stay away from using public networks, it sometimes can’t be helped. If they do have to use public internet, only allow them to do so if they’re using a VPN. A VPN provides online privacy, making it harder for outsiders to see their activity.
- Company Services: Your business likely has its own set of tools your team commonly relies on. This may include Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Outlook, and more. These applications are configured by your IT department or IT provider to be secure. However, your department or vendor is not responsible for something like your personal Google Drive. Remote workers should stick to only using approved services.
- Updates: Hackers are always working hard to find cracks in programs and operating systems. Finding these vulnerabilities can allow them to infiltrate your devices. Updates can patch any known weaknesses, which will keep your devices safe for use. As soon as a new update comes along, you should install it.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA is an extra layer of protection that uses multiple verification steps to certify that the user is who they say they are. It’s a security tool used in conjunction with a password and username. The concept of MFA is centered around the idea that there’s something only you would know or have access to.
- Security Awareness: The biggest vulnerability any business has is its employees. All it takes is one person falling victim to a cyberattack to bring your network down. It’s crucial that you teach and train your remote staff in cybersecurity awareness. The more aware they are, the less likely they are to become a victim.
Start Preparing for Your Hybrid Workplace
The Americom team provides a variety of remote IT services. From implementing cybersecurity solutions to helping you set up remote collaboration tools, we offer everything you need to prepare your business for a hybrid work model. We’re your one-stop shop for all managed IT and print services.
If you want to learn more about how Americom protects your work from home employees, contact us today.