Cyber-security Guidance for Hybrid Workplaces

Hybrid workplaces offer many benefits to both employers and their workers. Employees can reduce commute costs in a hybrid work environment and enjoy more flexible schedules while also consistently visiting the physical workplace. However, while there may be many positive effects for organisations that choose to switch to a hybrid work model, it’s necessary to understand the various risks, such as greater cyber-security exposures.

Consider how the following parts of employees’ daily routines may affect overall cyber-security for your organisation:

  • Using personal devices—If employees use personal electronic devices for work-related functions, it may be more difficult for employers to monitor and control configuration to ensure optimal cyber-security measures are in place.
  • Maintaining network security—Employers must stress the importance of only using secure Wi-Fi networks. An employee signing on to a public network can become an easy target for cyber-criminals. Even while using private home networks, it’s important for employees to understand proper protections, such as renaming networks and setting up encryption.
  • Securing the cloud—Many organisations already use third-party cloud services to share and store information and data. The cloud may become an even more important aspect of a workplace that becomes hybrid. As such, employers must ensure strong security measures and proper use.
  • Keeping track of devices—Regardless of whether employees are using their own electronics or are being provided with devices by their employers, physical theft or corruption can lead to devastating cyber-attacks. Remind employees to never leave devices unattended in public and to lock their screens before stepping away even briefly.

Even after implementing and reinforcing good cyber-security practices, organisations still need to plan for a potential attack. For employers switching to a hybrid work model, it will be particularly important to revisit any existing response plans, as preparations must account for employees not being physically present. For example, if IT staff or other key members of your response team are working remotely when a cyber-incident occurs, it may be more difficult to contact them, and the entire response plan may be hindered. Plans may even need to include adjustments and clauses for specific days of the week depending on who will be physically available.

For more cyber insurance and hybrid workplace guidance, contact our risk management experts today.