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Prioritizing Cybersecurity in Hybrid Workplace: Key Strategies

Prioritizing Cybersecurity in the Hybrid Workplace The hybrid workplace is here to stay. With employees relying more on connected devices, smart home systems expected to […]

Prioritizing Cybersecurity in the Hybrid Workplace

The hybrid workplace is here to stay. With employees relying more on connected devices, smart home systems expected to be a $157 billion market by 2024, and connected devices in homes rising 70% by 2025, it's crucial to prioritize cybersecurity. This article provides tips to secure your organization's data and systems in our new normal and explores the cybersecurity challenges and solutions for hybrid work environments.

Prioritizing Cybersecurity in Hybrid Workplace: Key Strategies

Prioritizing Cybersecurity in Hybrid Workplace: Key Strategies

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The Rise of the Hybrid Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid work arrangements. Many employees enjoy the flexibility of working from home part or full-time. Companies have also realized cost savings and productivity benefits from hybrid models.

According to a McKinsey survey, over 90% of organizations will be combining remote and on-site work post-pandemic. The hybrid workplace provides the best of both worlds – collaboration and connection in the office balanced with focus time at home.

While hybrid work offers advantages, it also introduces new cybersecurity risks that must be addressed. Employees are accessing sensitive data and systems outside the office on home networks and devices. This expands the attack surface for hackers and requires updated security protocols.

Unique Cybersecurity Challenges of Hybrid Work

Cybercriminals aggressively targeted remote workers during the pandemic, from phishing emails to malware attacks. As hybrid work continues, organizations must stay vigilant against cyber threats.

Some specific cybersecurity challenges introduced or amplified by hybrid work include:

  • Increased use of personal devices lacking enterprise-level security
  • Unsecured home Wi-Fi networks and shared connections
  • More entry points for attackers with employees working remotely
  • Shadow IT from apps and tools deployed without IT approval
  • Lack of device visibility for IT teams when employees work remotely
  • Increased phishing risks with employees outside the office environment

Without proper precautions, these risks endanger company data, systems, and reputation.

Securing Smart Home Devices

When purchasing and setting up new smart devices, be sure to:

  • Configure the privacy and security settings
  • Limit sharing information
  • Actively manage location services
  • Continue monitoring how secure your data is on these devices

With the rise of smart homes, employees have more connected devices than ever before. Unfortunately, many smart home devices lack proper cybersecurity protections.

Before deploying smart home tech, research the privacy and security features. Select devices that allow you to limit data sharing and collection. Configure the security settings to be as strict as possible for your needs.

Ongoing vigilance is key as well. Keep software updated, monitor connected devices for suspicious activity, and consider cyber insurance for smart home devices.

Cybersecurity Best Practices for Hybrid Employees

Good online hygiene should be part of any onboarding process, but take it upon yourself if not:

  • Perform regular software updates
  • Enable multi-factor authentication
  • Follow cybersecurity best practices

Your vigilance helps keep the company safe.

Here are some top tips for employees to follow for optimal security:

  • Use a password manager to generate and store strong, unique passwords.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts for an extra layer of protection.
  • Keep software, OS, and security tools up-to-date with automatic updates when possible.
  • Watch out for phishing attempts and only click links from trusted sources. Report suspicious emails.
  • Use a VPN when accessing company data or networks from home.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi for work activities.
  • Only use company-approved apps and cloud services for storing sensitive data.
  • Lock screens when stepping away from devices.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility between employees and IT teams. Following best practices secures accounts, devices, and networks.

Creating Stronger Passwords and Passphrases

  • Go beyond requirements and combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols when creating passwords.
  • Avoid common phrases.
  • Use a password manager if needed.

Weak passwords continue to be a major security flaw. To develop stronger passwords:

  • Make passwords long, at least 12 characters or more. Length enhances security.
  • Include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. This complexity improves password strength.
  • Avoid dictionary words, names, birthdays, or common phrases. These are easily guessed.
  • Consider using a passphrase for greater security. This is a password made up of multiple words.
  • Never reuse passwords across accounts. Unique passwords limit damage if one is compromised.
  • Use a password manager if you struggle to remember unique, complex passwords. This stores passwords securely.

The extra effort of password best practices prevents unauthorized access.

Avoid Public Computers for Logging In

Working remotely from coffee shops is great for a change of scenery, but avoid logging into any accounts from public computers.

  • Keep activities generic and anonymous in public to protect yourself and company data.

Public computers pose privacy and security risks. They may have keylogging malware or other vulnerabilities.

If you need to work remotely outside the home, stick to general browsing on public computers. Never access sensitive accounts or company data. That includes:

  • Email, social media, and bank accounts
  • Company network, databases, or applications
  • Cloud storage or collaboration platforms

For any confidential work activities, use your personal device with a VPN over secure Wi-Fi.

Turn Off Bluetooth and WiFi When Not in Use

Bluetooth and WiFi can expose your location if left on when idle.

  • A simple precaution is to switch them off when not needed. This can alleviate tracking concerns.

Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity provide convenience but can also be misused to monitor your location and activity. Make a habit of disabling these when not actively in use:

  • Turn off Bluetooth when not using wireless headphones or other paired devices. Bluetooth pings can be used to track nearby devices.
  • Disable WiFi if stepping away from your computer for a length of time. This prevents passive monitoring of traffic.
  • Switch on airplane mode when you don't need internet connectivity. Airplane mode disables all wireless transmission.

These quick precautions reduce the risk of location tracking or traffic sniffing. Only turn on radios when required.

Securing Networks and Devices

In addition to smart employee practices, organizations must implement cybersecurity controls tailored for hybrid work:

  • Provide managed devices to employees accessing sensitive data rather than allowing personal devices. This centralizes security management.
  • Implement a VPN and zero trust model so all remote access goes through identity verification. This prevents lateral movement in the network.
  • Use endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools to monitor managed devices remotely. EDR identifies suspicious activity.
  • Restrict administrative privileges on devices to only IT teams. Employees should not install unauthorized software.
  • Require multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all cloud apps and resources. MFA prevents stolen credentials from granting access.
  • Conduct cybersecurity training to keep employees updated on the latest threats and protocols. Training is key in hybrid environments.

With a layered defense model, organizations can protect critical assets and detect threats early.

Securing a Hybrid Workforce With LK

LK Technologies offers a full range of cybersecurity services and consulting to implement a robust, responsive security environment. Services include:

  • Risk assessments
  • Managed firewalls
  • SIEM
  • Security awareness training

LK takes a strategic approach to cybersecurity for hybrid workforces. Their offerings help:

  • Identify risks and vulnerabilities from hybrid work practices
  • Implement secure network architecture and controls
  • Provide 24/7 threat monitoring and response
  • Train employees on updated policies and best practices

No single product solves hybrid security. LK delivers integrated solutions combining technology and expertise. This enables organizations to securely adopt modern work models.

Visit their website to learn more or request a consultation. Their team can assess your needs and build a customized cybersecurity strategy. With proactive planning, companies can protect their people, assets and reputation as work evolves.


The hybrid workplace is here to stay, but introduces new cyber risks. With smart precautions, employees can help keep data and systems secure. Small habits like strong passwords and disabling Bluetooth go a long way. But organizations must also implement updated network security and policies for hybrid environments. Prioritizing cybersecurity protects businesses and enables remote work to thrive. By partnering with experts like LK, companies can confidently embrace flexible work arrangements.


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