A Guide to Secure Connectivity In The Hybrid Era
By Nick Anderson 6 minutes
The shift towards a hybrid working model was already underway when the pandemic struck. COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for the change. The workplace changed forever when the pandemic eased, and the dust settled. The age of hybrid working was upon us.
The change happened more quickly than anyone would have imagined possible. However, with change came challenges, the likes of which we had never seen before. One of the most significant ones was the shift to cloud computing and the need to balance convenience and security.
Even today, some people are struggling with the transition. In this guide, we focus on the challenge of secure connectivity in the hybrid era and the steps that can be taken to address it.
Note: Using a VPN is one of the most important steps and aspects of secure connectivity in the hybrid era. It paves a secure pathway for your data and keeps unwanted visitors away. With data encryption and secure transmission, you can work from anywhere worldwide without falling prey to scams and spam.
With FastestVPN, you get robust AES 256 encryption and super-fast WireGuard protocol that keeps your employees and peers securely connected to the organization. The best part is that it’s affordable and has dedicated plans for enterprises and businesses.
The Rise of the Hybrid Work Model
The shift to remote and hybrid working models has been one of the most disruptive changes to the working environment in decades. It has its benefits like versatility, increased accountability, and independent work, but it also comes with some challenges:
- Blending of in-office and remote work: The hybrid model combines the traditional office environment with the flexibility of working from home. Some individuals have a hard time adjusting to this new work-life balance.
- Increased dependence on digital tools: With remote work, there’s a surge in the use of digital platforms for meetings, collaboration, and project management. The whole workflow is disrupted whenever a tool breaks down or is under maintenance.
- Cybersecurity and privacy concerns: This digital shift has heightened the risks of cyber threats and data breaches, necessitating robust security measures. Failing to take the right measures to protect vulnerable devices could cripple your whole organization.
- Need for consistent access: Ensuring employees have seamless access to company resources, regardless of their location, is crucial for productivity. However, allocating the right resources to the right people is quite challenging.
These changes have amplified the need for robust security strategies. This isn’t restricted to digital security either. Although this is critical, there also needs to be a focus on physical security, with components like license plate reader systems playing critical roles.
The Importance of Secure Connectivity
Digital security has never been easy. However, it wasn’t that long ago that the bulk of an organization’s data could be safely stored and protected within the security of a closed network.
This is no longer the case. The hybrid work model demands a more flexible attitude towards data access. Nowadays, users access data from multiple devices and networks, many of which are unsecured.
Some key reasons underlying the importance of secure connections are:
- Protection against cyber threats: As remote work increases, so does the exposure to cyber risks like hacking and phishing.
- Safeguarding sensitive data: Secure connections are vital for protecting company and customer data from unauthorized access.
- Ensuring privacy: Employees working remotely need assurance that their communications and work are private and secure.
- Compliance with regulations: Many industries have strict data protection and privacy regulations that businesses must adhere to.
This need for enhanced security can hinder remote connectivity, but there are actionable practices that can allow the benefits of the model while addressing the challenges.
Best Practices for Secure Hybrid Working
A robust anti-virus solution should always be at the center of any “list of best security practices.” However, in the age of hybrid working, a single anti-virus isn’t enough. You must take more steps to ensure your security.
Utilizing VPNs for Digital Security
One of the more concerning security aspects of the hybrid work model is the lack of control over the networks used to access data. This is where VPNs have a critical role to play.
Simply put, VPNs, like FastestVPN, allow for secure and encrypted connections regardless of the physical network’s security (or lack of). They protect against cyber attacks and ensure privacy and anonymity online, which is vital for maintaining the integrity of sensitive business data.
By implementing a reliable VPN solution, businesses can provide their workforce with secure access to necessary resources, regardless of physical location.
Physical Security Measures
These are often overlooked when it comes to digital security but are even more relevant in the hybrid work era. One point that highlights this is the fact that an estimated 35% of data breaches are physical in nature, according to a study undertaken by Information Week.
A strong approach to physical security is essential and should include components like:
- Cameras: Key for monitoring workspaces and deterring potential security breaches. Business security cameras provide a visual deterrent and a means of evidence collection.
- Access control: Controls who can access physical and digital spaces, ensuring only authorized personnel have entry.
- Integrated systems: Combining various security measures (like alarms, sensors, and cameras) enhances overall safety and response capabilities.
Other Essential Best Practices
In addition to VPNs and physical security measures, several other practices are crucial for maintaining security in a hybrid work environment:
- Regular training and awareness: Continuously educating employees about cybersecurity risks and protocols.
- Device security: Ensuring all devices used for work are secured with strong passwords, encryption, and anti-malware software.
- Regular software updates and patch management: Keeping all software up-to-date to protect against vulnerabilities.
- Comprehensive security policies: Developing and enforcing policies that cover all aspects of digital and physical security.
Collectively, these practices form a robust security framework essential for safeguarding against the diverse range of threats in today’s hybrid workspaces.
More Than an Afterthought: How Security Is Enabling the Hybrid Work Era
Remote and hybrid working are fantastic concepts on paper. However, with a change of this magnitude, challenges always follow. But these challenges are far from being insurmountable. By applying some simple best practices, the rewards of the hybrid work era are yours for the taking.