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IT security in the hybrid workplace

Hybrid working has increased in the past two years, as a consequence of Covid-19. With connected devices at new workplaces, new attack surfaces are being opened up. So it’s important for businesses to make sure that they work proactively with IT security in the hybrid workplace, in order to minimise risk.

The biggest challenge facing IT managers in organisations is to stay one step ahead of threat actors. Identifying vulnerabilities and maintaining comprehensive protection against breaches of IT systems requires the right prioritisations. Here is a list of ways to protect IT systems and reduce attack surfaces in connection with hybrid working.

Protect software and systems with multi-factor authentication

It is important that those responsible for the IT environment make sure that the business is working with secure logins and IT environments. Regular users working in the business must be able to rely on the software and devices that are used being protected against data breaches and attacks. To protect the systems and software of businesses, multi-factor authentication should be implemented, so that content is more inaccessible for hackers. It is also crucial that devices are connected to secure networks.

More secure networks with VPN and Zero Trust

Hybrid working creates more vulnerable situations and increases the risk of Ransomware attacks. As organisations advance the rate of innovation, attackers develop along with them. If information is being stored in a cloud service or on an internal company network, there is a major risk that hackers will copy the content. If malware manages to make its way into employees’ devices, the consequences are significant. Malware utilises security gaps in the computer, enabling a hacker to take control over your company’s entire IT system. VPNs make working from home more secure, as they guarantee that employees’ work devices are based on Zero Trust.

Threats such as Ransomware often make their way past preventive tools, and real-time monitoring and automated processing are useful in facilitating work to identify threats. SIEM solutions (Security Information and Event Management) combined with EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) provide the organisation with a good insight into and control of networks and devices, log and real-time analysis of the infrastructure with automated incident response.

“It is important that there is 
guidance to inform users about
secure logins, which networks are
permitted and how content
is to be stored on work devices”

Adapt authorisation to duties at work

With a combination of a VPN and a Zero Trust Network, your business can limit attack surfaces. By providing employees with authorisation only to those applications that they really need, social manipulation and attempted breaches in the IT environment can be reduced. Present-day VPNs are increasingly being replaced by the Zero Trust Network Access concept, in which identities and devices are given access only to the applications required for the task.

Inform staff about security risks and introduce ethical hacking

Social manipulation uses fraudsters as a technology to make use of our human behaviour. This may involve ways of making us feel chosen or forced to disclose private data and account details of large companies and government agencies. You should work proactively and train employees about the risks in order to prevent this. Phishing is a method used by attackers to make us click on links containing malware. Misleading content in the form of false links and websites also encourages staff to provide access to passwords and other important data by trying to make their devices rely on the content.

It is important that there is guidance to inform users about secure logins, which networks are permitted and how content is to be stored on work devices. When employees are sitting alone at home, there is a more vulnerable situation and a greater risk of being exposed to fraud if you are using insecure networks. As a user, you will often have a serious lack of security, and you will need to be trained about how you might be tricked, to prevent damage to the business. Another way of getting the business to understand the deficiencies in IT security is through ethical hacking, which highlights how a hacker can make its way into an organisation’s network and identifies where the deficiencies exist.

Make sure you follow the IT security policy

It is important that everyone within the organisation follows the same policy. So, make sure that there is a security policy that is based on fundamental security. Mature organisations with well-established processes and procedures and processes are in a much better position to minimise threats and deal successfully with unavoidable attacks than is the case with less mature organisations. If there is a need to review work on security, a business partner can provide help with the process of drawing up a security strategy and more advanced security services.

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