The Hybrid Workforce: Best Practices for Security and Adoption

It’s no secret that businesses must change how they operate in offices all across the world. Numerous difficulties have arisen as a result of the widespread adoption of remote work, including managing diverse teams and ensuring that workers have access to the necessary technologies.

In turn, small and medium-sized businesses are facing a new reality.

For SMBs, upgrading the current technology stack can frequently fall low on the list of priorities, whether a result of a lack of funding or resources or just because other tasks take precedence. However, the pandemic forced a swift and significant change in this strategy, making enhanced technology essential for working remotely. More than six months after this change, a new change sweeps the hybrid workforce.

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A New Pattern Emerges: The Hybrid Workforce

A significant shift in the workforce is about to occur, forcing every organization to reconsider how they manage their infrastructure, deliver resources effectively, and protect personnel. Our topic is a “split workforce.”

While the majority of employees continue to work from home, a recent study reveals that over the next twelve to eighteen months, most Americans are expected to steadily start working in the office, creating a new hybrid workforce. People anticipate that not everyone will return to work, but rather that businesses will give workers more freedom to alternate between their homes and actual offices in a revolving schedule.

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Crucial Considerations for a Secured Hybrid Workforce

The technology that businesses decide to rely on, how those technologies are handled, and how individuals use them daily will all be directly impacted by the shift in the workforce paradigm. The SMBs have a lot to think about as these expectations change, from infrastructure and physical offices to changes in the organization’s culture.

Cyber attacks are also becoming more prevalent. In fact, 80% of organizations think that assaults have become more sophisticated while 90% of organizations indicate that attacks have increased. The hybrid workforce must be prepared for small and mid-sized businesses as it will only make IT and security operations more difficult.

SMBs must examine the following factors to secure and adapt to this new workforce:

Infrastructure Shifts

No business, from SMBs to major corporations, should continue to have its infrastructure “on-site” that connects the team members to a specific location in a post-pandemic environment. (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS will be essential to assist SMBs in navigating this change. Organizations can access, support, and monitor everything via SaaS from any location. Employees can access the resources they require with this cloud versus on-premises strategy, while IT and security professionals have better control over the network regardless of where teams are situated.

Zero-Touch Tech Delivery

Organizations will need to implement zero-touch tech delivery since personnel is more locationally scattered than ever. Many businesses continue to send pre-imaged devices from their IT departments, which can add extra steps and delivery delays. In the future, a truly zero-touch method will be essential to supplying individuals with the equipment they need directly and setting it up on their own. This will make remote onboarding and maintenance much less arduous.

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In this new hybrid environment, “bring your own device” will once again be taken into account to streamline supply chains and delivery.

Shadow IT

IT is more prevalent than ever in a remote working environment. There are more entry points for security threats since employees use personal devices, connect their work devices over their home networks, and rely on a range of internet programs, some of which are not approved by IT. A solid identity and access management strategy is essential to maintaining the constant security of personnel working inside the corporate perimeter and those working from home.

Security Culture

Phishing was cited as the main threat to small businesses in the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. These kinds of security threats can be reduced among a widely dispersed workforce by creating a robust security culture. Regular security trainings, whether in person or online, will reinforce employee knowledge and improve overall security and help employees remain vigilant for threats.

Physical Environment

Working remotely is an opportunity to re-organize your office network. Consider whether you still require, for instance, an inter-office link if you previously had many offices. If the offices are used as an “offsite” location, they should be handled with care. Ironically, this results in fewer calls to the IT service desk and a reduction in the workload for infrastructure management.

The Future of “Work from Anywhere”

The parameters are no longer drawn to the corporate office. Organizations need to be aware of this and use the “work from anywhere” philosophy as an opportunity to optimize the workplace, strengthen their technology stack, and put new procedures in place that will protect the security of both the business and employees.

Hybrid workforce models are here to stay in a post-pandemic future. Take into account the flexibility and efficiency that new procedures and technology, such as SaaS and zero-touch device delivery, can provide to your company, and start incorporating it into your SMB’s business goals right away to stay ahead of the trends and remain competitive in today’s evolving world of work.

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enterprise IT securityhybrid workforceIT SecuritySAASsupply chains
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