Living in a now post-pandemic world has brought about many changes to the way the workplace can function successfully. One of the most prominent changes in this new world is the fact that remote and hybrid work have become increasingly more common. Not only that, but the ability to offer jobs to remote workers has increased the availability for many employers and employees to not be limited by location when seeking new positions or promotions and transfers. In fact, 59% of employees who can work remotely, have chosen to do so even if their workplace is open to employees working from the primary office.

What are the key concepts for business leaders to remember in light of this great shift, especially regarding workplace technology? That is an important question that must be answered in order to truly find the most effective and efficient means of providing employees with work-from-home options.

Business Owners Should Manage IT Security of Remote Workers.

In the perspective of long-term hybrid and remote work, it falls on the business owner to be mindful of the potential risks that introducing multiple connection points to their network and data could bring about. Before COVID, companies focused their security strategies on their office environment. Today though it is imperative for businesses to reevaluate their IT security strategies through the perspective of a remote workforce. It is necessary that the business owner review their IT security and take the steps to increase cyber safety from all points throughout their organization.

Some key items to consider when doing this include utilizing certain security tools like antivirus, endpoint detection and response, DNS and content filtering. These tools provide extra layers of protection to your business from outside cyber attacks and breach attempts. Another prominent tool to utilize in conjunction with remote workers is a VPN. Using a VPN provides those who work from home secure, remote access to your business network and resources while mitigating any cybersecurity risks. Additionally, it is imperative to protect corporate assets behind next generation firewalls and multi-factor authentication tools like Cisco DUO or Okta. This provides fewer chances of security breaches to your network.

Avoid Easy Solutions to Remote Work.

When the pandemic first started many businesses looked for the fastest way to allow employees to work from home. This often involved undergoing unwise practices such as opening the corporate firewall to allow for straight remote desktop access. This “quick fix” in reality opened more exposure points to the businesses’ IT infrastructure and thus made them more prone to threats. Now that remote and hybrid work looks to be here for the long-haul, ensuring that those who work from home can do so securely is vital.

One of the best and simplest ways to provide secure access for remote employees is to disallow the use of employee personal devices which can access and interact with corporate resources. This lessens the likelihood of accidental breaches or sharing of classified information. By providing vetted, business-owned devices for each remote employee, leadership is ensuring the overall security of their business while reassuring clients of the great value of their data.

Invest in tools that will make remote work easier and efficient.

Rather than actively hindering the possibility of remote work, business leaders should be taking steps to increase the functionality of remote work for their employees. By giving employees the opportunity to work remotely, businesses can increase productivity, work-life balance, and company loyalty. This is a priceless reward for any business!

Businesses should invest in sound technologies for remote connections. Investing in installing better audio-visual and virtual meeting equipment in conference rooms as well as working to improve the overall security posture of the company should be focal points of businesses and their future IT investments. Improving security and network connectivity is also an important direction to consider when looking to modernize the IT for your business. Microsoft has continued to develop and improve their Microsoft Teams application making it easy and secure to conduct virtual meetings, share files, and collaborate on projects. By implementing a company-wide remote work policy and procedure, business leaders are investing in the value of their employees and their work.

Change is a Good Thing.

Oftentimes we can be overwhelmed by big changes. Change can be scary and can make your business stretch in unexpected ways. As for remote and hybrid work, the case is no different. The sudden increase in the need for remote work options was a great challenge for many businesses. In hindsight, the pandemic eventually gave those the opportunity to provide an incredible option of increased productivity while ultimately saving money on physical resources by increasing the commonality and security of remote work.

If you are looking for a better way to increase the security of your remote workers or to expand your hybrid work capabilities, please contact us and we can help you find the right solution for your business.