What a Hybrid Work Environment Means for Data Security

Hybrid work is an attractive prospect to the employee population, and executives across industries must consider how to optimize a hybrid workforce. A majority of executives expect that most employees will continue in some form of hybrid work after the pandemic, according to a 2021 survey by McKinsey & Company.

This model offers a myriad of benefits, including some increased productivity, lowered living costs for employees, and less time spent commuting. However, there are also significant drawbacks. When employees began working remotely, targeted attacks and data security concerns increased, and these concerns will continue in a hybrid working environment.

Luckily, modern security programs can be implemented with great success to protect company data, allowing for hybrid work to benefit employees as well as the companies they work for.

The Home in Hybrid

In a hybrid work model, there is still a central location, but the addition of remote work requires critical changes to security protocols. The home office is often in a common space, and more accessible to unauthorized people than a traditional office setting. Challenges ranging from slower internet speeds to ineffective communication can cause breakdowns in the efficiency and digital safety of a group of employees. With employees using personal devices in the home to complete work, the security concerns of organizations’ IT and security departments have increased. It is important that the organizations utilizing a hybrid work model are clear about the physical and digital security requirements for their employees, providing guidance to mitigate threats.

Transporting Devices Securely

The core aspect of a hybrid work model is that the employee is working both from home and from a central office. While this provides flexibility to the employee, it also increases the possibility for unauthorized users to gain access to company devices and data. Opportunities for device theft abound, from a forgotten phone on a front desk to a laptop sitting in an unlocked car outside the local deli. Missing devices cause incredible headaches and potentially thousands of dollars in legal and forensic fees.

Organizations implementing a hybrid environment must have a way to track the machines that handle customer and company data. Software like DriveStrike offers company administrators the ability to locate laptops and phones within meters of their exact location, using a centralized and efficient Dashboard. The faster devices can be located, the less chance they will be breached by a nefarious actor.

Locking Down Data

An effective and well-planned threat response program is key to protecting the integrity of a company with a hybrid work environment. Locating a device is a crucial first step, but it is imperative that the security administrator determines the level of danger and takes appropriate measures immediately.

The most important tools in the toolbox to address these issues are the Lock and Wipe functions. A locking software should be able to logout or reboot a device remotely, forcing a user to reenter their credentials upon retrieving the device. Some security packages include options to create a new password when locking a device, requiring this additional authorization to unlock it.

In an event where a device is pinged in a location such as the employee’s grandmother’s home where he went to dinner last night, locking the device may be all that is needed. However, if a laptop is found the next town over in a neighborhood the employee has never been to, the more permanent step of wiping the device should be in order. A Remote Wipe destroys the material on the machine, rendering the data unobtainable to the individual in possession of the device. The sooner this option is employed, the less risk of breach there is. DriveStrike offers both Remote Wipe and Remote Lock features.

A hybrid workforce is flexible and adaptive by its very nature, but for it to provide long-term benefit, a company’s stance on security must be solid.

DriveStrike offers tools, such as Remote Wipe, Device Locating, and Locking, that can be implemented across hundreds of devices and managed efficiently from a central Dashboard. Sign up for your free trial today, and feel free to contact us with any questions! Your security is our priority.

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Each day brings new data security challenges, so your organization needs simple and wide-reaching solutions to combat those challenges. DriveStrike is here to help you protect your most critical data with premium quality endpoint security. Start a free trial with DriveStrike today, and contact us if you need any assistance. Our team is always ready to answer your questions.