Hybrid working: the 3 security risks you need to be aware of

by | 25th August 2021

Forty percent of employers expect more than half of their workforce to work from home once the pandemic ends, according to CIPD. This is in stark contrast to pre-pandemic levels, where only five percent of employees worked from home regularly.

This has led to a desire for a hybrid working model, where employees split their time between the office and their home.

In fact, research shows that 78 percent of people would embrace a hybrid model of working in the office for two days or less.

Now, we’re not here to talk about what mix of remote and office working is best for your business. But, you need to know what cybersecurity risks are inherent to hybrid working and how your business can avoid them.

Here are the three hybrid working security risks you need to be aware of.

1. Physical device loss/theft

Suffering from theft, or losing a device is easier than you’d think. After all, it only takes a moment of inattention to leave something behind, or for someone to take it.

In fact, according to Gartner, a company laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. So, make sure your devices are physically secure by providing employees with computer locks and privacy screen filters.

Beyond that, ensure they use multi-factor authentication, secure passwords, and enterprise-grade security software.

2. Home accidents

We’d like to think your family wouldn’t purposefully, and with malice of forethought, damage your work devices. But, accidents happen, and it isn’t just your children spilling their drink over your keyboard you need to look out for.

If you’re not careful, someone in your family could print off the wrong spreadsheet accidentally, exposing your business to millions of pounds worth of GDPR risk.

3. Insufficient network security

It should be no surprise that your employees home networks aren’t as secure as your business’s. You can encourage employees to use secure passwords and anti-virus software, but it won’t cover all the risks.

The prevalence of IoT hardware – like smart TVs, fridges and mirrors – means that, chances are, there will always be a weak point. Indeed, two-thirds of people in the UK own at least one smart device that would pose a risk to your business.

This is why you need to focus on securing your own business, providing secure access with proper controls in place.

Defend your business with location-based security

Despite our warnings above, we’re not saying you shouldn’t embrace hybrid working. Just make sure you’re safe when you do.

In medieval times, rulers would keep their most valuable assets safe behind their castle walls, surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge. Even though they allowed their people to come and go as they pleased.

We think your business should be no different.

At Chalkline, in addition to standard security protocols like multi-factor authentication, passwords and other cloud security practices, we limit access to certain apps and data by IP address.

We keep our most valuable assets safe by only allowing access ‘behind the castle walls’ in our office. This lets us enable remote working, and all the benefits it brings, while ensuring the utmost security.

If you’d like to find out more about how to maintain security in a hybrid working world, get in touch today.

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