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The Challenge of Data Security in the Era of Hybrid Working

As the dust settles on the global pandemic’s disruption, hybrid working has emerged as the new norm for many of our clients. Our clients have found that this blend of remote and in-office work offers flexibility and maintains productivity, and working with KeyNet is helping to maintain data security in the era of hybrid working. We understand the significant challenges of this ‘new normal’ work environment, particularly with regards to data security. Over the next two articles, we will explore some of the main hurdles businesses face in this new era of hybrid working. We will first look at the many challenges of securing data in a hybrid working environment. In our next post, we will share some KeyNet strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Maybe you are struggling with the ‘what ifs’ of hybrid working for your organization. Maybe up till now, you have not had any issues with data breaches through cyberattacks, but you are deeply concerned about it, as you should be. The threat for cyberattacks has increase 238% since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s explore some of the challenges today’s hybrid work environments are facing.

1. Increased Attack Surfaces

Hybrid working environments rely heavily on digital tools and platforms for communication and collaboration. This digitization expands the attack surfaces that cybercriminals can exploit. Employees working from various locations increase the risk of data breaches. Each device and network extension represents a potential entry point for security threats, including malware, phishing attacks, and more.

2. Inconsistent Security Practices and Network Vulnerabilities

Maintaining consistent security practices in a hybrid work environment is a significant challenge concerning network security. While corporate offices typically have secure, well-monitored network connections, remote settings often lack similar protections. Employees might connect to less secure home Wi-Fi networks that lack enterprise-grade firewalls and encryption or even log in from public Wi-Fi networks at cafes or libraries, which are notoriously vulnerable to eavesdropping and cyberattacks. This inconsistency in network security across different working locations can create vulnerabilities, making it easier for cybercriminals to exploit weaknesses and access sensitive company data.

3. Evolving Threat Landscape

The shift to hybrid working also changes the cybersecurity threat landscape. As employees access company systems from various networks and locations, the potential for encountering new and evolving threats increases. Cybercriminals constantly adapt tactics and exploit vulnerabilities in less secure home and public networks. Additionally, increasing cloud services and external data storage solutions commonly used in hybrid models can introduce new risks, such as unauthorized access and data leakage. Organizations must continuously monitor these threats and adapt their security strategies to protect against the latest types of cyberattacks.

4. Challenges in Remote IT Support

The hybrid work environment poses unique challenges for IT support teams maintaining data security across dispersed locations. Remote IT support becomes crucial but complicated when employees encounter technical issues or security threats from outside the traditional office setting. Resolving these issues remotely can delay response times and allow security breaches to escalate. Moreover, IT teams must manage and secure a broader range of devices and software, ensuring that patches and updates are applied consistently, even when not directly accessible. This situation demands innovative solutions in remote IT management and real-time monitoring to maintain robust security across all endpoints.

5. Training and Awareness

Human error remains one of the biggest threats to data security. According to Deloitte, 91% of all cyberattacks begin with a phishing email to an unexpected victim. In a hybrid working scenario, ongoing training and awareness about security best practices are paramount. Employees must be educated about the risks of phishing emails, the importance of regular software updates, and the secure use of corporate and personal devices for work purposes.

KeyNet Technologies understands the challenges and the risks of data security in the era of hybrid working environments. We help our clients work more securely in remote settings. Our dedicated team of cybersecurity specialists can help your organization as well. To learn more about who we are, click here. If you are ready for a no obligation conversation regarding your security posture, we invite you to contact us today.