According to a report by Forrester and Tenable titled “Beyond Boundaries: The Future of Cybersecurity in the New World of Work,” nearly three-quarters (74%) of corporate and security leaders believe the remote-work policies they created in response to COVID-19 exposed them to hackers. In fact, 92% of CEOs say they have been the victim of a cyber-attack or a data breach in the last 12 months. These incidents resulted in the loss of customers, employees, or confidential information, among other things. The attack surfaces will only grow as hybrid work acceptance rises. The duties of managed security service providers have just increased.
Returning to the office brings a sense of comfort to many managers and employees, particularly for those who have the option of working remotely part of the time. The new hybrid workplaces, on the other hand, are not nearly as welcome for those seeking to protect their companies from hackers.
Cybersecurity and the hybrid workforce
Employees in a hybrid workspace might move in and out of the office or any other remote location. As employees connect their laptops to the corporate network and then take them home, this has an impact on their devices.
Everything from culture changes to infrastructure offices to, most importantly, security—the most vital part of any change will be impacted by the transition to a new work arrangement.
The hybrid office has been dubbed a cybersecurity nightmare by IT professionals. When hybrid employees walk back and forth to their workplaces and reconnect, they expose firm networks to security risks. They may introduce malware or other security threats outside the enterprise network unknowingly. When firms multiply this scenario by the number of hybrid workers that connect and disconnect every week, fraudsters will have a better chance of gaining a foothold on the corporate network.
Safeguarding the company’s network and other IT assets is even more intricate. Security teams must handle a continuously shifting balance of remote and office workers, as well as personal and corporate devices.
Hybrid work poses security risks
Businesses, whether they are in operation or have a blended workforce, are all vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
In a hybrid workforce, phishing is a prevalent security issue. Cybercriminals took advantage of insecure home networks and the ambiguity and chaos caused by the COVID-19 outbreak during the last year. They exploited these anxieties by sending malicious communications masquerading as news alerts, bulletins, and websites carrying COVID-19-related information.
The failure to apply security patches might potentially put the corporate network at risk. Patches are software and program updates that address maintenance and security vulnerabilities. When connecting to a personal or corporate network, these updates are essential.
Another security issue is employee error. Employees at home offices are more likely to make thoughtless mistakes like repeating passwords, installing malware, and failing to employ the company’s virtual private network (VPN) because they don’t have IT support.
Employees who work remotely have the ability to use personal devices in addition to company ones. As a result, individuals find themselves using their personal devices for both business and personal work.