The Complete Guide to Hybrid Workforce Security

With the rise of work-from-home (WFH), flexible work, and online workplaces, it’s essential to be aware of common IT and cybersecurity threats. This includes malware, spyware, a virus or other malicious computer code, and phishing scams. 

Cyberattacks are on the rise given increases in remote working, the fluctuations of the pandemic, and ever-changing security failures. It’s important to protect your business before a hacker can get in. By knowing what key security risks are, you can stop them before they do any damage.

Security threats loom as the workforce is increasingly remote. Remote workers are plugging in hours in public spaces, homes, and anywhere they can connect to a network. Here’s your guide to keeping your remote workforce secure.

Getting Starting: Building a Successful Hybrid Workplace Security Strategy

Companies have shifted to the hybrid workforce model in response to the current shift in the workforce. Unfortunately, some cybersecurity professionals may not realize how much adaptation is required to fully support a secure hybrid working model. 

One of the many changes from the pandemic is that workers can no longer be classified into remote and in-house categories. This means that a majority of a company’s employees need access to business-critical resources, no matter where they are located. 

Adopting a hybrid workforce security infrastructure goes beyond convenience—it’s also about efficiency. A single, integrated security policy is necessary for all employees in an organization to keep data safe, which includes employees on-premises and working from home.

If you cannot get a single integrated security solution, then you need an employee monitoring system that keeps tabs on all the working parts.

Building Your Hybrid Workforce Security

Organizations looking to have a hybrid workforce need to consider the following best practices to ensure your employees, and your company data and information, are safe. 

Cybersecurity threats constantly change, and organizations must adapt their defense strategy to prevent malware, data breaches, and network disruptions. A spam filter and antivirus software are still best practices for protecting your network but aren’t enough in hybrid workspaces.

Here are the essentials needed for strong hybrid security:

A Zero Trust Approach to Security

Zero trust is a strategic approach to cybersecurity for the hybrid workforce infrastructure. Zero Trust security is rooted in the principle of never trusting anything you can’t verify. 

Zero Trust is a strategy and architecture that protects resources by preventing unauthorized access. It does this by only granting access to specific groups or individuals. Permissions restrict access to various resources, so it’s vital that you set them correctly as you update your cyber security measures.

Zero Trust is designed to provide protection for modern work environments and support digital transformation. You can avoid cyberattacks using robust authentication methods, network segmentation, preventing lateral movement to sensitive sites, and simplifying granular policy-making.

The Zero Trust model operates on the thought that everything within your organization’s network is not implicitly trusted and must be authenticated. Without Zero Trust, once a user is on the network, it is difficult to restrict their movement and access. This increased mobility grants more access and the ability to extract more data. But if you adopt zero trust, you eliminate the explicit and implicit trust within your company and regularly validate users at increased checkpoints. 

With the increasing emergence of a hybrid workforce, the transition to the cloud, and a changing landscape in cybersecurity, it’s never been more vital that organizations take a Zero Trust approach. Implementing this system will foster high-quality security in your hybrid workforce.

Multiple Endpoint Security Against Malware

Companies with a hybrid workforce should consider how to protect employees at multiple endpoints from malware. This should also include your Internet of Things and an employee’s personal device. One good solution is for companies of all sizes to use email scanning/filtering programs to reduce the chances of staff encountering tainted attachments. Another is monitoring software.

One of the most common ways to protect employees from malware is to provide them with information about it beforehand, or security awareness training. This includes all types of malicious content, such as mail, ads, and programs. 

Antivirus and firewalls are also recommended for businesses to use. A little knowledge about the risks of malware is all that’s needed for hybrid workers to be aware of the dangers of accepting and opening unknown and risky email attachments.

When in doubt, a constant monitoring solution can ensure network and data visiblity so that you can protect your assets even if safeguards fail.

Security Against Insider Threats

Security awareness training, endpoint monitoring, and anti-malware software can help defend against the majority of data breaches. However, you also need to monitor your negligent and malicious employees. Insider threats are actually the cause for a large portion of data breaches. 

Protecting against insider threats requires access and privacy filters. This means zero trust, but also actively guarding and monitoring sensitive information. To do this properly, businesses should also implement micro-segmentation. This strategy creates a virtual barrier between systems, making it harder for attackers to access many devices simultaneously. 

This makes businesses less vulnerable to internal and external threats. Companies can also implement user behavior analytics (UBA) to monitor employees. If an employee shows unusual behavior, a notification will be sent so the admin can intervene immediately.

Protection from Code Injection

Maintaining good security practices, including identifying red flags and vulnerabilities, eliminating redundancies, and minimizing risks, is essential. This includes knowing what to look for with code injection attacks.

Code injection attacks can be prevented when administrators know the vulnerable codes available and avoid calling them. By filtering inputs and installing applications or APIs to stop malicious codes, a company can protect against this common cyber attack.

Validation requirements can help prevent SQL injection, which would otherwise allow a user to extract data from the database. Administrators can stop an ongoing attack using a Web Application Firewall and update its threat database in real-time.

Data Breach Protection

Data protection isn’t just about your privacy and what that means for you as an individual. It’s also important to consider how data is shared and stored within the workplace so as not to cause potential problems with information loss.

Companies in more sensitive fields may want to invest in a secure storage device. This can be an excellent way of storing data securely and ensuring privacy for workers that rove between the office and remote locations.

The most dependable way to protect your data is through continual network security updates, network monitoring, and staff training.

Setting Up Hybrid Workforce Security

It is an excellent idea to ensure remote employees have the proper security tools in place as they often work in environments with limited IT support. 

Data, information, and end-user experiences are more secure with this critical level of protection. You should use antivirus, antimalware, firewall, and performance scanners for security purposes. 

Taking into consideration employee monitoring and other security tactics as a more in-depth part of your hybrid workforce security plan; consider the following:

  • Installing employee monitoring software is one of the most effective ways to ensure your organization is safe from potential insider threats.
  • Virtual machines are a great way to segment your system’s different aspects so you can manage them separately.
  • Using one or more Zero Trust security strategies, such as dividing your network into secure and logical networks (or micro-segmentation)
  • Solidify your security by streamlining into a single Multi Factor Authentication that is easy to use

Choose SoftActivity as Your Hybrid Workforce Security Solution

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant changes to corporate practices. For example, some companies are going mobile to cut costs and others allow their employees to work remotely for a portion of the week. But to ensure your on-premises, remote, and individual workers are all adequately taken care of, it’s essential to adopt a unified communication and security solution.

SoftActivity is computer monitoring software that allows you to monitor employee work computers for potential threats and risky behaviors even in a hybrid workforce. 
SoftActivity allows remote access meaning you can easily monitor employees in a WFH or hybrid work environment. From a single dashboard, you can protect sensitive data, reduce the risk of insider threats and malicious attacks, monitor remote employees, and even track keystrokes in real time if you wish. Improve your hybrid workforce security today with SoftActivity.

By SoftActivity Team.

September 12th, 2022