How to build a secure hybrid working environment

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How to build a secure hybrid working environment
When the pandemic hit, companies all around the world transitioned their entire workforces to hybrid working at an unprecedented scale and speed.
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Companies with employees across multiple locations have realised the advantages of remote working. Now they must secure it.

The global coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift away from the traditional business model, which had gradually been taking place over the past decade. With millions of people forced to or choosing to work remotely, many companies have had to quickly adapt, moving to a fluid structure, where staff work and collaborate from numerous locations. In most cases, the pandemic has proven that with the right technology, the same outcomes can be achieved remotely just as effectively as done in person.

Companies with employees across multiple locations have realised the advantages of remote working, as virtual teams are able to work together with ease. Remote working has also helped organisations to attract and retain a new generation of digitally savvy employees who have embraced remote working as the new norm.  

Much of the success of remote working has hinged on the mass adoption of devices designed to enhance meeting room interactions through wireless connectivity. Cloud-based solutions have eliminated the need for multiple adaptors, ports and devices, allowing virtual meetings to be set up in seconds. These solutions also allow employees to work from their own devices, in a manner that is most convenient and accessible to them. An example of this is Barco’s recently launched ClickShare Conference. Designed to promote the ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ culture, ClickShare Conference ensures participants can log on to virtual sessions securely and seamlessly from any device, using any preferred conference solutions.

When COVID-19 hit, businesses were forced to adapt in breakneck speed, and in many cases, setting up the processes to secure the hybrid working environment was an afterthought. With businesses looking to maintain flexible working post-COVID and rely on collaboration solutions more frequently, having secure systems and protocols in place is not only vital at this time of crisis but should remain a priority in the long-term.

At a time when most of the workforce is working from home and the use of technology is more prevalent than ever, businesses must implement the necessary security measures to ensure their data is protected. These include introducing strict identification and authorisation protocols, installing antivirus equipment, firewalls and specific server equipment. All external solutions gaining access to business networks must have cyber protections built in.      

As cyberattacks evolve and become increasingly more complex, it is imperative for companies to keep their networks secure.

It can be said that the most dangerous cyber threats to companies today are those that find their way into a company’s network via its employees.

Companies have the opportunity to educate and empower their employees to implement security best practices, reducing their risk factor and making them guardians of the company. In addition, companies should implement training sessions for all employees, to help them identify the phishing attacks and malicious emails that hackers use to gain access to company information.

When the pandemic hit, companies all around the world transitioned their entire workforces to hybrid working at an unprecedented scale and speed. Recognising the efficiency and flexibility that this style of working brings, many companies are now considering maintaining a hybrid business model even past the pandemic, meaning it has never been more important for companies to prioritise network security. By implementing strong and appropriate defence measures, and educating their employees on best security practices, businesses can be confident that their network and data is secured and guarded from cyberattacks. 

Claudio Cardile is Managing Director, Barco Australia and New Zealand

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