Since the start of the pandemic, it is estimated that cybercrime has skyrocketed by 300%, with the rise of remote working being one of the major factors contributing to the increase.

As restrictions are being lifted, businesses across the globe predict that workforces will split their time between working at the office and working remotely. This ‘hybrid way of working’ is likely to become the norm.

, Hybrid Working: Cyber Security Challenges

What could possibly go wrong? For many companies offering remote working, new cyber security challenges will arise which IT security teams must tackle, with minimum disruptions to the work processes. This article will look through some of the challenges and recommend steps businesses can take to defend themselves against any associated threats.

1. Assessing access governance

Most organisations already face access management challenges, and these are made even more difficult in today’s dynamic work setting. Security teams might find themselves struggling to track who has access to what, recognise and prioritise identity risks promptly, and comply with countless policies and regulations in place.

For the hybrid workplace to succeed, businesses need to re-evaluate their existing governance policies for user access and authentication methods. It is therefore critical that your business has the right technologies to distinguish legitimate devices and users from malicious ones with more precision.

2. Laser focus on cloud security

The adaptation of remote working has led to a blend of existing IT and new cloud infrastructures. So the question is: how do you secure it? Business cloud infrastructures left unprotected form more potentially attackable surface area for cyber criminals to exploit.

Effective cloud protection needs to consider employee’s less secure personal equipment as well as the full array of devices available to them in the office.

, Hybrid Working: Cyber Security Challenges

A critical thing to do before returning to the office is to address any risky behaviours employees have been adopting while working from home.

Before welcoming employees back into their offices, businesses should consider running cyber security (re)training for staff to further educate employees and ensure proper procedures are followed. This will reduce time spent by the security team resolving issues that could have been easily avoided.

3. Protecting your collaboration tools

With employees spread out over several locations, organisations have relied heavily on cloud-based collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Businesses need to ensure that they have a strong archiving strategy in place as many of the platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, do not come with built-in cyber security features, and do not provide a way for data to be easily achieved.

, Hybrid Working: Cyber Security Challenges

Additionally, IT and security teams must be aware of the vulnerability of these tools to malware and ransomware attacks. Without a proper security strategy and tools in place, collaboration tools can easily do more harm than good.

Prevention is better than cure

Ultimately, prevention is better than cure. Threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with criminals becoming savvier, more organised, and targeted. Being prepared is the best way to reduce the risks of cyberattacks. Invest time and resource in keeping your systems secure and ensure that your employees are aware of the cyber threats facing your business.

In a hybrid working set-up, it is vital for businesses to recognise the risks and take proactive measures to keep their business prepared. We recognise that some IT leaders are worried about their teams’ time and resources being stretched too thin.

If you believe your team will be under more pressure with a permanent remote work structure, get in touch with KBR today – call us on 0191 492 1492 or email info@kbr.co.uk.

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