How to improve your business’s cybersecurity in the hybrid work era

Today, more and more businesses are embracing hybrid work setups. According to Gartner, 66% of HR leaders say their companies have adopted a hybrid work model, while 30% say they are planning to do so. These flexible work arrangements offer numerous benefits, such as reduced costs and increased productivity and employee morale, but they also introduce new cybersecurity challenges. This is why small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to be proactive in safeguarding their sensitive data and IT systems by following these tips:

Conduct regular cybersecurity assessments

Cybersecurity assessments involve systematically evaluating various aspects of the organization’s IT environment, including networks, servers, endpoints, applications, and data storage, as well as security policies, employee training programs, incident response plans, and disaster recovery capabilities. This allows companies to identify vulnerabilities in their IT infrastructure and processes, such as outdated software, misconfigurations, or inadequate access controls, and take the necessary steps to mitigate these risks.

Since cyberthreats are constantly evolving and new vulnerabilities continuously emerge, SMBs must conduct these cybersecurity assessments regularly. Doing so will enable them to stay ahead of potential threats, reduce the risk of breaches, and protect their sensitive data.

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

When employees work remotely, they might use their personal devices or connect using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks to access company data, leaving businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks. A VPN serves as a shield against cyberattacks by encrypting data transmitted between employees’ devices and the company network. This ensures that data remains secure and unreadable even if it’s intercepted by attackers.

Moreover, VPNs offer an additional layer of protection by masking the IP addresses of remote employees, enhancing their anonymity. This feature makes it difficult for cybercriminals to track employees’ online activities and target individual users, thereby reducing the chances of being singled out for malicious attacks.

Implement a mobile device management (MDM) solution

An MDM system is a central platform for managing and securing mobile devices within a company network. With MDM, businesses can easily enforce security configurations, apply updates, and set up password policies on all registered devices. This ensures that all devices are up to date and protected against known vulnerabilities.

MDM also allows for remote troubleshooting and monitoring, so SMBs can provide timely support and incident response. For example, if a device gets stolen or lost, IT admins will be able to immediately encrypt or remotely wipe the data stored in the device.

Hold employee security awareness training

Security awareness training educates employees on common cyberthreats and how to identify and properly respond to these threats. Being aware of cybersecurity makes employees more cautious and vigilant, reducing their chances of falling victim to scams or inadvertently compromising security.

And by attending security awareness training, employees would be more likely to practice good cybersecurity habits, including using strong and unique passwords, regularly updating software and systems, and avoiding suspicious links or attachments. They would also understand that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and their role in keeping cyberthreats at bay.

Partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP)

An MSP can design and implement comprehensive security solutions tailored to the unique needs of SMBs. They can also provide 24/7 proactive threat monitoring, allowing them to quickly identify and respond to potential security breaches, which helps minimize the impact on business operations.

Moreover, an MSP can apply patches and updates to ensure that systems and applications are protected against known vulnerabilities. They can also take charge of disaster recovery and business continuity planning, ensuring that SMBs can quickly recover data and resume operations in the event of an attack.

Ready to partner with a reliable MSP? Turn to Interplay. For a fixed fee, you get full-service IT, from support and management to strategy and security. Start by signing up for a FREE network security assessment.