The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way employees across the country work and live. That is, in the past year, a significant part of the workforce transferred to teleworking. A new study showed that the majority of remote employees (83%) want to continue working from home in a certain capacity. As a result, almost half (45%) of employers plan to implement hybrid work arrangements in the near future. Such arrangements allow employees to divide their time between working remotely and on site. For example, employees can work in the office every Monday and stay away for the rest of the week.
Organizations need to evaluate cyber considerations for hybrid work
Although hybrid work models may offer different benefits to both employers and their workforce, these arrangements also present unique cybersecurity risks. First, remote work environments often provide less secure network settings than on-premises settings, making employees more vulnerable to cloud-based cyberattacks. In fact, such attacks have skyrocketed by over 600% since the start of the pandemic.
What̵7;s worse, by switching between remote and on-site networks, employees can potentially expose a greater proportion of workplace technology and assets in the midst of a cyber incident. In other words, if an employee unknowingly gets their laptop hacked by cybercriminals while working remotely and connects that device to an on-site network a few days later while working in the office, all workplace technology risks being compromised by the hackers. If you are considering a hybrid work model within your organization, consider these best practices to minimize exposures to cybersecurity:
- Use a virtual private network (VPN). Having a VPN gives your employees a private, secure network connection – both remotely and on site. VPN offers various cyber security features, such as hiding users ‘IP addresses, encrypting data transfers and masking users’ locations. If you do not already have a VPN, this is a crucial step in developing a secure hybrid work model, as it can reduce network vulnerabilities when employees work remotely. If you already have a VPN, make sure it is fully patched.
- Educate employees. Require staff to participate in routine cyber security training. This training should help employees stay up to date on the latest cyber threats, new attack methods and best tips to protect themselves from these problems. In addition, this training should address specific risks related to hybrid work arrangements and how to mitigate them properly.
- Protect all devices. Ensure that all workplace devices – including those used remotely – are equipped with adequate security software (eg antivirus software, firewalls, endpoint detection and response systems, and patch management products). Make sure this software is updated as needed to maintain its effectiveness.
- Promote open communication. Finally, encourage employees to consult their IT department if they encounter cybersecurity issues or suspect a potential cyberattack.
We can help.
In addition to taking reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of an attack, we must be realistic and understand that we will all inevitably deal with a cyber attack at some point.
The two most important questions you need to answer as an entrepreneur are:
- Will I know how to respond when a cyberattack occurs?
- Will my company survive the devastating consequences of a cyberattack?
The planning you do today, the strategic partnerships you establish and the suitability of yours Cyber and data intrusion insurance are all important components to safely answer the question of ‘will my company survive after a cyber attack“with a resounding”ABSOLUTELY. ‘
We understand the negative effects a cyberattack can have on your organization; we have seen on our own how it affects customers. We also know which insurance companies provide the widest insurance coverage to help you recover from an attack.
But we do not stay there.
The best place to start is with your own internal operations, the security measures you have in place, the controls implemented to prevent a data breach and the action plans in the event of a breach.
In addition to providing cyber and data breach protection, we can also provide you with several services to help you position your business for the best insurance premiums offered by the country’s strongest insurance companies. Specifically, we can:
- Provide data security resources designed to keep your data and network secure
- Perform a cyber risk assessment of your business to help identify areas of weakness and offer solutions to reduce exposures
- Help you develop and implement an incident management plan
If you want additional information and resources, we are here to help you analyze your needs and make the right coverage coverage to protect your business from unnecessary risks. You can download a free copy of our e-book, or if you are ready to make Cyber Liability Insurance part of your insurance portfolio, request a suggestion or download and get started with our Cyber & Data Breach Insurance Application and we will work for you.