Hybrid Working Environment: How to Stay Secure & Compliant
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the idea of working from home or even hybrid working environments was quite rare. However, this has since all changed. An IBM Security survey found that before 2020, 80% of respondents hardly ever, if at all, worked from home. Now, working from home and hybrid working environments, a blend between in-office and remote work, have become the norm for millions of Americans.
While the opportunity to work from the comfort of home does have its advantages, it also opens many new IT vulnerabilities that may not have been foreseen. This has led to an uptick in data breaches, ransomware attacks, and cybersecurity threats that need to be addressed.
Below we’ve outlined some helpful best practices to keep your organization’s IT assets secure and compliant in a hybrid work environment.
Create an IT Asset Register
An accurate ledger of all IT assets is something that should have been around before 2020, but it’s more important than ever right now. With possibly thousands of laptops, mobile phones, and other IT assets containing sensitive data (or access to that data) all spread amongst employees at their private homes across your city, county, or state, managing who has which device requires an IT asset register.
Invest in Remote IT Support
With the shift towards hybrid working environments across the USA, the need for on-site IT support has decreased while remote IT support has increased. It only makes sense, considering that employees and corporate IT assets are now distributed across sometimes large geographical areas. How can organizations manage IT support remotely in a cost-efficient manner?
Remote IT services streamline the process and can recover, reuse, remarket, recycle, and redeploy IT assets within an organization. All organizations must have remote IT support infrastructure in place, including all the above R’s, but this can be time-consuming and costly if your organization lacks the resources to transition to a remote workforce. That’s why it’s best to invest in remote IT support services from reputable IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) providers instead.
Data Centers vs The Cloud
In hybrid work environments, network access must be considered. How will your employees securely access the organization’s network and does access to servers need to be limited or controlled? Moreover, how is data being stored within the organization, and is it as safe as it should be?
One growing trend – even in pre-pandemic years – has been the widespread adoption of cloud-based data in place of traditional data centers. The convenience and security of cloud storage are two great reasons for organizations to make use of this attractive technology, but it comes with some perhaps unforeseen costs as well.
Firstly, if you must decommission your existing data center to transition to cloud-based storage, you’ll need high-quality data center services, hard drive disposal, and thorough data destruction to ensure that all IT assets are disposed of safely, without compromising sensitive data. ITAD companies excel in providing these services.
One of the most effective steps is to set up a separate network for employees who work from home. They could use a VPN to access that network and have limited access to servers and company information.
Encourage Cyber Hygiene
You may be interested to know that over half of all employees surveyed in a 2020 IBM study have not been given any instruction on how to maintain cybersecurity when working from home, and that needs to change. This includes aspects such as password management, protecting client and customer data, video conferencing policies, and more.
It’s true that in a typical office setting, cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities can present themselves, but in a closed environment with company-owned IT assets, it tends to be a lot easier to contain and isolate threats. Compare this to potentially hundreds or thousands of IT assets scattered across your city, county, or state in the private homes of individuals.
Maintain an updated set of company policies pertaining to cyber hygiene and at-home cybersecurity and keep all employees updated.
Are Hybrid Work Environments Secure & Compliant?
Hybrid work from home environments open up many potential IT vulnerabilities, but that doesn’t mean that remote work data protection is impossible. Working from home safely and in a compliant manner means taking a few extra precautions towards protecting corporate data.
This entire process can be managed efficiently and cost-effectively by implementing some (or all) of the above best practices, but it’s also the right time to consider working with a dedicated ITAD provider that can operate within a hybrid work schedule and manage IT assets on your organization’s behalf.
Contact Wisetek Today
Wisetek is your ideal choice for secure, efficient ITAD services in the USA. We make hybrid working environments secure and compliant with services such as off-site data destruction, remote IT asset recovery and redeployment, and much more.