It should be no surprise that both knowledge workers and the companies that employ them want to benefit from hybrid work environments. After two years of a new remote workplace routine, businesses must provide workplace flexibility to compete for the best talent, allowing employees the option of working from a corporate office or elsewhere. In fact, 66% of the companies surveyed in a study by PwC said they would offer greater work flexibility when their employees return to the office, even while cybersecurity managers continue to struggle to adequately security workers outside the corporate perimeter.
Remote working has increased the risk of suffering a malware attack by 3.5 times. The absence of a unified cybersecurity strategy (37%), technological vulnerabilities (22%), lack of knowledge in this field (16%), and poor-risk control strategy (12%) are the main causes of ending up infected by cyber threats.
In our “Unified Security for a Reconnecting World” report, we tackle the security challenges from remote access to corporate networks. Businesses face increased exposure from stolen credentials that cybercriminals can use to access systems and sell on the dark web. They can be more susceptible to phishing scams that enable hackers to gain full control of the network after tricking an employee to click a link or divulge personal information. In addition, software that has not been updated on an employee's computer or device is more easily leveraged from home Internet connections and can lead to a breach.
The good news, practices such as including multi-factor authentication (MFA), can help organizations to implement hybrid work securely. MFA is the first step in replacing implicit trust with evaluated and explicitly adaptive trust – an imperative for hybrid work environments. Maintaining a strong and resilient security structure in this new environment also means identifying corporate applications and validating the group of users that should have access to the - email, Cloud applications, VPNs, etc. These findings are supported by Pulse survey data as the technology leaders surveyed say they will use MFA (35%), zero-trust architecture (31%), and VPN (23%) as the best tools to meet the challenges of hybrid environments.
Implementing these security approaches for hybrid work runs the risk of introducing too much complexity for a nimble IT security team to take on. By contrast, WatchGuard’s Unified Security Platform enables efficient, robust security services including the MFA and zero-trust services necessary for hybrid workplaces with the platform-tools for increased scale and velocity. The operational efficiencies arising from a zero-trust model delivered with unified security enable companies to fulfill the promise of the hybrid office while managing cybersecurity risks.