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Welcome to the Hybrid Work Environment

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Katherina Yavela
Katherina Yavela, Director of Marketing, CW Technology

Within the last two years, the world has drastically changed. Part of that drastic change includes workplace environments. Our 21st century society – a technologically advanced civilization with over 200 million companies in the world – survived a global pandemic. While we are uncertain about many things right now, one aspect of the pandemic has become certain for businesses: embracing the hybrid work environment.

What 2022 has in store for workplaces is a new work structure that permanently establishes technology as a fundamental need for success. Simply put: Without the optimal IT infrastructure, tools, and strategy, a hybrid work environment cannot exist. And if it doesn’t exist, you may be out of business.

Why Should SMBs Establish a Hybrid Work Environment?

Since businesses have shifted toward hybrid work environments, many have highlighted great increases in productivity, efficiency, and growth. According to Accenture, 63 percent of high-revenue growth organizations have established a hybrid work model and 83 percent of American employees state that they prefer a hybrid work model. By offering this as an option, you will likely increase both your recruitment and retention rate while also remaining competitive in the marketplace.

What Makes for a Successful Hybrid Work Environment?

When establishing your hybrid work environment, there are two primary factors you must consider: investing in secure remote technology and establishing your employee roles.

Let’s dive into the technology aspect first.

3 Security Software Essentials for Hybrid Work Success

Providing your employees with workstations and resources for their remote work capabilities is only one part to the hybrid model. The other – and most important – is ensuring that these devices are protected and have secure accessibility, both onsite and offsite. To do this, you need:

  1. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR): This security software protects endpoint devices (servers, workstations, etc.) against threats already inside your environment. Antivirus alone is no longer enough.
  2. Antimalware and antivirus: This preventative security software protects devices against viruses, malware, and ransomware.
  3. Firewalls: Firewalls monitor your network for suspicious network traffic and block many threats before they even get to your network.

3 Ways to Secure Employees at Home

As more and more organizations embrace the hybrid work model, one of the major challenges is remote work security, specifically workstation protection. For your remote workers, adding an extensive layer of security to your business’s workstations makes all the difference.

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA adds another layer of authentication (such as a code sent to your phone) that helps prevent cyberattackers from accessing your systems.
  2. Remote Device Management: Businesses need remote IT support that incorporates best practices for managing and monitoring your business workstations, ensuring that workstations are secured, data is protected, and employees are helped through technical issues.
  3. Protection Against IT Limitations at Home: Employees are often not IT experts and may have technology that lacks security best practices. Enforcing the use of VPNs, securing home wi=fi networks, encrypting work devices, and ensuring that software is patched and updated can help offset security weaknesses in an employee’s home.

Preventing Employee Error

While businesses may feel prepared against external threats, they often overlook internal threats in the form of human error.

Approximately 95 percent of cybersecurity attacks are caused by an organization’s employees.

So, how can your hybrid work environment be successful if it faces such a costly, damaging risk? Embracing the hybrid work model means enforcing cybersecurity awareness training. One of the best investments you’ll make for your business’s security is a successful training program – one that not only focuses on what employees should know about network security but also what they should do if they see such a threat.

A valuable program must include topics such as hacking trends, the latest phishing scams, the danger of stolen mobile devices, caution against posting sensitive information, and other causes of data breaches. Remember, cybersecurity is not just IT’s responsibility. Everyone has a responsibility toward cybersecurity. If they know about the latest threats and how they can compromise a company’s integrity, they will be more engaged in protecting your company.

Welcome to the Hybrid Work Environment

As an SMB, you may have your doubts about this new work model, and rightfully so. Keeping up with large enterprises and corporations is a challenge. Questions such as “Can I even afford these security measures? How will the switch to hybrid work environments impact my business? How will our clients respond if our employees are remote?” are constantly going through your mind.

If you have questions about supporting and transitioning employees to a hybrid work environment, reach out to us through the form below.

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