While the shift to hybrid work can improve employee happiness, it presents new security challenges as they toggle office, home, and public networks.

Most hybrid work security failures are caused by insufficient management of identities, access, privileges, and a lack of real-time detection.

Multi-factor authentication, VPNs, endpoint monitoring, and zero-trust frameworks are just a few of the technical controls you can deploy to sure up your security.

Equally important is establishing security policies, ongoing training, and a culture of transparency so employees understand the risks and proper protocols.

Protection against the evolving threats of the hybrid era

With strong defences and an empowered, aware workforce, organisations can confidently embrace flexible work models for the long term.

We recommend taking these five steps to bolster security for hybrid work:

  • Implement secure VPN access. A VPN creates an encrypted connection that employees can use to securely access company systems and data from anywhere.
  • Enforce strong passwords. Long passphrases are much harder for hackers to crack than short passwords. Educate your team on creating passphrases and require them on all devices and accounts.
  • Monitor endpoints. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools analyse devices for suspicious activity. A more advanced solution is XDR, which offers cloud and email visibility. Look for a solution that covers all devices and digital touchpoints, whether company-issued or personal. One such solution is Sentinel One XDR.
  • Adopt a zero-trust approach. This model assumes that no user or device should automatically be trusted. Instead, verify identity every time someone accesses a system. Restrict access to only what is needed to complete a task.
  • Use tools built for security. For corporate data and communication, avoid consumer apps that lack necessary security measures like email. Instead, use a purpose-built board portal with two-factor authentication.

Understanding the scope of current threats

The main threats to hybrid work stem from employees using personal devices on insecure networks, weak passwords, phishing attempts, and unpatched systems.

Among the top risks are:

  • Ransomware attacks can cripple business operations by encrypting data until a ransom is paid. These increased by over 70% early in the pandemic.
  • Phishing attempts, where employees click malicious links or attachments in emails. These can install malware or capture login credentials.
  • Opportunistic hackers are breaching exposed systems and unpatched devices. Older, vulnerable systems are prime targets.
  • Client-side attacks on public-facing apps and websites, using them as a backdoor into corporate networks.
  • Data leaks of sensitive information can lead to compliance violations, lawsuits, and reputational damage.

Any hybrid security strategy needs to address these common attack vectors.

Implementing strong technical controls like multi-factor authentication, endpoint monitoring, and end-to-end security with Check Point makes it much harder for hackers to penetrate your defences and take control.

But it’s also critical to train employees on spotting potential threats, so humans can provide an extra layer of protection alongside the technology. These steps will help to keep your data secure across your hybrid work environment.