Tightening Up Cybersecurity: Best Practices in the Era of Remote and Hybrid Working

Anurag Lal Anurag Lal, President and CEO of Infinite Convergence.

More than two-and-a-half years after the start of the pandemic, remote and hybrid work are expected to remain the norm. A survey of IT and business decision makers by research company Foundry revealed that 71% of companies expect to make remote or hybrid work policies permanent. As working norms continue to evolve so do cyberthreats. Today, many employees routinely move from home to office to coffee shops and a host of other locations to get work done. According to data from McKinsey 58% of U.S. job holders – the equivalent of 92 million people – say they can work remotely at least part of the time. That represents a significant amount of employee mobility and growing cyber risks for organizations.

While flexibility in where work gets done is here to stay, so too are the challenges involved in making remote and hybrid work safe and secure. Today, enterprises need policies and protocols aimed at reducing cyberthreats as well as secure collaboration technology designed to protect data and privacy while enhancing efficiency and productivity.

Cyberthreats continue to evolve, making a strong cybersecurity posture more of a business enabler than ever before. Alarming cybercrime statistics continue to highlight the critical nature of ensuring enterprises are cyber secure. Data from Sonic Wall’s 2022 Cyber Threat Report revealed that there were 2.8 billion malware attacks in the first half of 2022 and ransomware increased 13% - more than the last five years combined, according to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report.

When organizations plan and execute their cybersecurity strategies, the development and implementation of bring your own device (BYOD) policies should be at the top of the list for combatting cyber threats. BYOD means more devices connecting from more locations and less visibility and control for enterprise IT departments. Entrenched in many enterprises before the pandemic, BYOD is increasing post-pandemic right along with employee mobility. An HP Teradici survey across a range of industries found that 48% of companies say their staff are predominantly using employee-owned BYOD devices for hybrid and remote work and 74% expect even more BYOD use among their employees post-pandemic.

Hybrid and remote work driven expansion of BYOD is increasing attack surfaces and cyber risk in organizations. Malware, data theft, lost and stolen devices, device sharing, improper device management and added IT complexity are a few of the risks associated with BYOD.

To minimize BYOD cyber vulnerabilities, enterprises should develop policies for device usage including defining what corporate data and assets are permitted on a BYOD device and defining what applications and software can be used when connecting to company networks. Organizations should also regularly train employees, educating them on common and emerging cyber threats and on the importance of keeping security software up-to-date and using strong passwords.

The right secure technologies are just as important as strong security policies and protocols.

Enterprises can tighten up IT infrastructure and reduce cyber risk by using enterprise-grade mobile messaging technology. Deploying a mobile messaging and collaboration platform designed for the enterprise ensures secure communication through end-to-end encryption and control features that enforce corporate policies governing messaging activities. End-to-end encryption is the gold standard in enterprise messaging security, preventing third parties from accessing data while it's transferred from one device or endpoint to another.

NetSfere’s device-to-device encryption and full administrative control of all accounts and devices enables businesses to securely manage enterprise communication in today's increasingly Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) enterprise landscape.

With remote and hybrid work here to stay, tightening up cybersecurity policies and using secure enterprise-grade mobile messaging and collaboration technology are best practices for enterprise data security, privacy and compliance.

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