In order to adapt to lockdowns enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies around the world adopted a hybrid/work-from-home model for their employees. This model involved workers having the freedom to carry out their jobs for the safety and comfort of their homes or physically from the office, whichever way they pleased. Though it took some time to adapt, a large percentage of employees (91%) are now open to a hybrid work environment, according to a survey conducted by IT security company Entrust.
The report, however, also highlighted that despite the positive reception from employees, the employers are not as open towards a hybrid model of work. The primary reasons for this are attributed to employers’ concerns regarding a loss of productivity, internet connection issues that can slow down operations, as well as the possibility of sensitive company information being stolen through cyberattacks on unprotected home networks of employees.
From the 3,000 employers and employees questioned from ten different countries, it was observed that around 80% of companies had adopted a hybrid or work from home system. With the coronavirus not looking to slow down anytime soon with new variants emerging, it seems that the hybrid model is here for the foreseeable future. If this is the case, businesses must invest adequately in improving their cybersecurity.
Though the vast majority of business leaders in the survey (89%) claimed that their company’s data security was adequate for hybrid/online work, they went on to say that cyberattacks were the company’s top security concerns. This is despite measures like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and virtual private networks (VPNs) being in place at the organization.
The report showed the various ways companies were taking measures to improve security within a hybrid environment:
- 51% of companies are introducing a one-time password format to their technological systems.
- 40% are using biometrics for login authentication.
- 36% are using mobile identity verification.
With lockdown restrictions easing and workers now being allowed back into most offices, the issue of health, safety, and Infosecurity is still prominent. In addition to the protection from the virus, organizations also have to cope with additional security concerns resulting from increased cyberattacks. With an increase in remote work, cybercriminals and threat actors were able to adapt and continue their notorious practices in newer, more dangerous ways.
Check Point Software’s Director of Threat Intelligence & Research Products, Maya Horrowitz, stated that companies must prioritize their cybersecurity greatly to combat the increased cyber threat amidst a hybrid work environment.
Some businesses have begun to conduct data security training to do just this. 81% of employers in the survey stated that the company had provided additional data security training to employees, and amongst this, 86% said that it was brought on due to the pandemic. These are positive signs that despite a hybrid working model, companies are working around the clock to improve security to prevent cyberattacks.