In today’s rapidly changing world, many businesses are transitioning to a hybrid model of working, where employees are both in the office and working remotely. In fact, two thirds of employed Australians have transitioned to a hybrid working model, working from home either full time or part time.
This shift has created a number of network challenges that can be difficult to navigate. From ensuring the security of remote connections, to enabling collaboration between distributed teams, there is a lot to consider when creating a successful hybrid work environment.
With the right approach, businesses can successfully navigate the transition to a hybrid work environment and create a secure and productive workplace for their employees.
Threat management and security awareness
When working remotely, employees might be more exposed to threats such as data loss, cyber-attacks, and malware. As a result, security awareness should be an integral part of the onboarding process for all hybrid workers.
Any employees who work from home at any time should be aware of the security measures in place to protect their network connection, any data they store or share, and any devices they use for work. This includes security settings or alerts that could be triggered on the remote employee’s devices and networks.
In addition, remote employees should be aware of how to report any suspicious occurrences, such as an increase in attempts to log into the network. This will help to ensure that any potential threats are quickly identified and dealt with.
Ensuring security of remote connections
When managing a hybrid work environment, it is important to remember that not all connections are created equal. While an employee working in the office is likely using a dedicated, on-premises network, remote employees may be connecting over a wide variety of networks, such as public Wi-Fi, cellular networks, or virtual private networks (VPN).
These connections are more at risk of being compromised, as they are often less secure, and may not have the same level of monitoring and security that the on-premises network does. It’s important to ensure that all remote connections are secure. This may include enforcing certain types of connections and blocking others.
For example, you may want to only allow employees to connect to the corporate network over an encrypted virtual private network (VPN) connection, while blocking unencrypted connections. In addition, you can also use network monitoring tools to identify any issues with the network connections being used by remote employees.
Keeping end users secure
While many businesses will have strict security policies when it comes to the remote network connections and data being transferred between employees, it’s also important to protect the end users who are connecting to the remote network.
This means that employees working remotely should be using secure devices that are been fully patched, running up-to-date operating systems, and configured with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication methods. This will help to ensure that any devices being used for work are secure, and help prevent any malicious activity from being conducted through those devices.
Developing a network access policy
A network access policy can be used to further enforce the types of remote connections that are allowed and the level of security required for them. This policy should clearly outline the types of remote connections that are allowed, and the level of security required for each type of connection. This will help to ensure that any network connections that are not secure are blocked, and that remote workers understand what is expected of them when it comes to securing their connection.
When developing a network access policy, consider the following questions:
Remote working connectivity and performance issues
While a hybrid model of working offers the benefits of both working in the office and remotely, it is important to understand that there will be some downsides to this hybrid model. One of these is potentially slower network performance when working remotely.
To mitigate this, businesses should consider implementing tools that prioritise bandwidth for critical apps. This prioritisation can ensure that employees are able to securely and efficiently collaborate and communicate, despite slower network connections.
Be ready for the hybrid working world with expert assistance
When transitioning to a hybrid model of working, you need to be prepared for the challenges that will arise from working across multiple locations.
The network specialists at Steadfast Solutions can create a secure and productive working environment for your employees with the right network approach. Talk to them today and find out how.