Recent research has revealed that organisations across the UK will be adopting the hybrid working model going forwards. Though many businesses are concerned that this will expose them to additional cyber threats, not all are taking the appropriate actions – so what can we do about it?
The pandemic has heightened worries about online security
It has been revealed that more than half of UK businesses feel that working from home during the pandemic has left their IT systems more susceptible to cyberattacks. One in 10 firms said they have been the victim of a cyberattack in the last year, rising to one in 7 for larger firms.
The findings were published in a survey by British Chambers of Commerce in conjunction with Cisco, a world leader in the IT and cyber security industry and a longstanding partner of Air IT.
Despite these revelations, four out of 5 respondents said they did not have accredited cyber security measures in place to prevent cyberattacks.
Aine Rogers, Head of Small Business, Cisco UK & Ireland, said:
The lines between professional and personal are more blurred than ever. Organisations are no longer just protecting an ‘office’ but a workforce at the kitchen table.
As businesses and individuals, we’re more exposed than ever to security threats. Whether it’s fraudulent SMS campaigns, posing to be a delivery company, targeted social engineering to access the passwords for your customer database, or hacking your home network, criminals in the cyber world are cunning.
That’s why we need to evolve thinking to focus on securing your employees and what they are doing, not where they are.
Hybrid working is here to stay – and so are cybercriminals
The news comes after research of a similar nature was published by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, having been commissioned by Air IT.
In their survey, we asked businesses how they intended to work going forwards, and almost three-quarters of respondents said that they would not return to the office full time after experiencing the benefits of working from home.
However, hybrid working comes with additional risks and employees are often less vigilant when in the comfort of their own home, so businesses are urged to ensure that they consider the cyber security measures they have in place when making such significant decisions.
Lucy Robinson, director of resources at East Midlands Chamber, said:
While there are many benefits from greater flexibility – including making it easier to attract and retain employees, as well as lower operating costs – this does carry a cyber security threat as employees’ personal and work lives become more blurred. It’s crucial that businesses put in place the right protocols to protect their organisations. This not only includes having the appropriate software and technology, but also effective communication and training, so that staff members are aware of what they must look out for and how to avoid being caught out.
Cyber security measures to consider when going hybrid
Here are some of the first things you should be thinking about when adopting a hybrid working model:
- Multifactor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication) to add an extra layer of security to the login process
- User awareness training to help employees remain vigilant against potential attacks
- Mobile device management to control the way work devices are used and keep your organisation’s data protected and isolated from employees’ personal data
- Cloud endpoint security to provide protection against emerging cyber threats for your organisation’s PCs and laptops no matter their location
Lee Johnson, Chief Technology Officer and head of cyber security at Air IT, said:
Over the past two years, there’s been a huge shift in the way we work and many businesses weren’t aware that this would expose them to additional cyber threats. If businesses want to adapt and keep cybercriminals at bay, they must ensure that their devices are protected, their infrastructure is secure, and most importantly that their employees are vigilant about potential threats.
Keep your business safe from cybercriminals
If you are considering going hybrid and you would like to learn how to protect your business and employees from cybercrime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more about our Managed Cyber Security services.