As we near the end of the pandemic, 65% of workers have stated a desire for more in-person communication with their teams. On the other hand, 73% of workers want their flexible work options to continue. So, companies are faced with the challenge of balancing office and remote work, and unfortunately, with increased remote work comes a heightened risk for remote workforce cybersecurity threats.
According to Microsoft, 76% of companies have already implemented a hybrid-work model where employees can work from the office or home as they see fit. But with an increased risk of phishing scams, cyber attacks, and other cybersecurity threats, companies need to tighten their remote workforce cybersecurity to ensure the safety of their employees’ and their businesses’ personal data.
Keep reading to learn which threats to cybersecurity for remote workforces to look out for and how to manage them as your business adapts to a hybrid environment.
Cybersecurity for Remote Workforces: Threats & Challenges
As technology advances, so will the threats to cybersecurity for remote workforces, which companies may face along their journey to adopting a hybrid-work model. Here are six common threats to look out for.
Remote Workforce Cybersecurity Budgets
According to a report by Microsoft, 73% of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) said they had encountered data leaks in the last 12 months. While in the past, company data could only be accessed from the fixed perimeters of the office headquarters, the ability to work remotely now means data must be accessible from anywhere.
As a result, companies should increase their security budgets to allow for increased security measures and do the proper research and require proof of efficacy before agreeing to work with a cybersecurity company.
As companies navigate the challenges of transitioning to a hybrid workplace model, one of their biggest obstacles will be ensuring their employees can safely access critical data from a network that the company has no control over.
Zero trust architecture, for example, is a mitigation method for cybersecurity threats that requires proof of identity from every single user who tries to access company data, according to Steve Jones, Senior Director of Cybersecurity at Dataprise. Effective and comprehensive cybersecurity starts with a strong infrastructure.
With so many companies implementing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, it becomes difficult to enforce strict security measures. Businesses will need to decide whether it’s worth providing company-owned devices or investing in an endpoint software that requires users to meet specific standards and authenticate each session every single time.
On the one hand, company-owned devices can be tracked by security teams and updated as needed. On the other, employees often prefer to use their own personal devices on their own home networks. And depending on a particular company’s budget, personal devices may not always be financially feasible.
[Download our ebook CIO’s Guide to Security in the New Hybrid Workforce for an in-depth guide on mitigating common cybersecurity threats as you adapt to a hybrid work model.]
Hybrid Technology Changes
Hacking tactics are advancing right alongside the evolution of technology. Companies need to constantly evaluate their remote workforce cybersecurity protocols to ensure data is protected against the newest cybersecurity threats as they update their infrastructure and technology.
When it comes to cybersecurity, your best bet is to do your research, ask questions, and be careful when choosing a SaaS provider.
New, Untested Technologies
Sometimes the latest and greatest technology also poses the greatest risk. For instance, many cloud technologies evolve rapidly in order to stay on top of the newest and most sophisticated cybersecurity threats. While many companies rely on these newer cloud technologies and platforms, because they’re fairly new, it’s too soon to know whether they’re the most effective technologies on the market.
Too many companies jump right into advanced solutions like AI, but setting a solid foundation is the key to strong cybersecurity for remote workforces and onsite teams.
The rise in remote work has led to an increase in email phishing scams. Phishing scams are some of the most prevalent threats to cybersecurity for remote workforces, as well as some of the most sophisticated.
Luckily, there are many solutions that exist to help pinpoint these phishing scams and train users to help spot scams and avoid falling victim to these cyber attacks.
Mitigating Remote Workforce Cybersecurity Threats
The best way to mitigate cybersecurity threats is to be prepared for them before they happen. The approach below can help provide the protection your company needs against today’s cybersecurity threats:
- Identify valuable assets. Distinguish your company’s most valuable data that hackers may attempt to access and steal.
- Protect your endpoints and assets. Once you’ve determined your organization's “crown jewels,” put the proper managed cybersecurity, endpoint management, and layered defenses in place to protect them against the latest cybersecurity threats.
- Educate users. Companies should consistently train their employees on common security risks and what they should (and should not) do to maximize security.
- Plan for the inevitability of an attack. Go through practice drills with your employees so they’ll know what to do in the event of a cyber attack.
Strengthening Cybersecurity for Remote Workforces & Onsite Teams
As companies adapt to either fully remote or hybrid-work models, proper protection against cybersecurity threats will only become more and more crucial to their success.
Interested to see how your organization stacks up when it comes to cybersecurity for remote workforces? Sign-up for our cybersecurity posture check today.