hybrid and remote work security

Return to office? Work from home? Work from anywhere? No matter where your team is located, remote work security is still important. So how do you ensure that hybrid and fully remote environments have the same security functionality? Is it as secure as when your team reported to the same physical office every day? In this blog, we’ll share strategies to keep your business safe – regardless of where your team is located.

Hybrid vs. fully remote

In a hybrid environment, you have a physical location (or more than one) where you control the technology and access. Team members may come and go, but people are able to work in a space you provide. You also provide the IT and security.

With a fully remote scenario, your company doesn’t have traditional office space. Maybe you leverage a co-working spot, or have a rental space – but for the most part, your team is scattered. That means every single home office, van with a hotspot, and Wi-Fi-enabled coffee shop your team may work from can be an entry point for threat actors.

Protect your business with remote work security policies

The first step to protecting your business is ensuring you have updated policies in place regarding hybrid and remote work security. ADNET can help you create a customized, detailed security policy for your organization. Here are some highlights to get you started.

  • Training: Mandatory Security Awareness Training not only checks the boxes for certain compliance requirements, it helps your team identify threats proactively. We recommend requiring Security Awareness Training annually at a minimum. Phishing campaigns can also be helpful and provide a safe, real-world experience for your team. During a phishing campaign, your employees will receive deliberately crafted emails intended to give you a baseline of how effective your employees are at spotting malicious emails. The goal with these trainings is never to shame, it’s to teach your employees to be constantly vigilant and foster a culture of security. The results of a phishing campaign can inform how to direct your resources when conducting Security Awareness Training and allow your employees to practice the skills they learned to identify malicious messages.
  • Device Management: Whether you’re providing the devices or people are bringing their own, you need to have policies and procedures in place to protect those devices. Security isn’t limited to workstations and laptops- it can also include mobile devices and storage devices.
  • Access: Creating policies that adhere to the method of “least privilege” can help ensure that only those who really need it have access to your critical information and systems. When working remotely it is important to consider the different locations that data can be accessed from. For example, it is best to use a VPN or hotspot when accessing company resources over a public network. Some companies may find it preferable to create policies that restrict access to only approved private locations.
  • MFA: Requiring multi-factor authentication (MFA) on devices accessing your systems can be a great way to prevent unauthorized access. As with any other security tool, training is key. Implementing MFA is only half the battle. Your team should still be mindful of prompts and block those they didn’t initiate.
  • Strong Password Policies: Compromised credentials are the number one way threat actors compromise systems. It is important to create policies that ensure strong, unique, passwords are used on every account. Defining password length and complexity requirements, password expiration, and eliminating password reuse can go a long way toward protecting your data.

Choose secure solutions

While there’s no single tool or technology that can keep your business completely safe, combining the best tools creates layered security – which can help mitigate risks. Here are our top 5 solutions that contribute to creating a more secure remote/hybrid environment for your business and your team.

  • EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response): While antivirus can help with simple, known threats, EDR is a much more comprehensive solution. EDR works to detect threats in real time by utilizing advanced behavioral AI. Quickly stopping and quarantining threats based on behavioral criteria can make a huge difference in minimizing the damage a bad actor causes.
  • Mobile Device Management: When your team is working across multiple devices, you may not be able to control where they access your systems. But, you can control how they do it. Adding a layer of MDM (mobile device management) can ensure that your most important systems are protected from things like well-meaning team members trying to access sensitive information over public Wi-Fi.
  • Endpoint Management: Making sure every point of access is managed. Endpoints should be up-to-date and properly maintained. This goes a long way toward keeping your systems secure and functioning optimally.
  • Managed IT Services: The right Managed IT services are a huge asset to any organization looking for flexibility – especially across multiple locations. Managed IT services ensure automatic, proactive updates are managed by your IT provider and made without anyone having to remember. There’s also a team of experts ready to support and troubleshoot common user issues. This can include answering security questions (like verifying suspicious emails) and helping with problems. Choosing a service model with 24×7 support can help organizations with flexible working hours or locations in multiple time zones.
  • Secure Cloud Environments: Implementing a cloud environment is serious business – and it’s something that you should entrust to experts. When we discuss cloud migration with clients, we make sure that we’re enabling flexibility without compromising security. Discuss things like remote work security requirements, compliance needs, and access limitations. These prerequisites help build a secure cloud environment that provides the functionality and security your team needs.

No matter where your business is based, empower your team to securely work from anywhere. In today’s environment, this is one of the best decisions you can make. Need help implementing flexible, secure IT solutions for the modern workforce? Reach out to us – we’re happy to help.