Pandemic Two Years On: The Security Challenge of Hybrid Working

Two years ago, the Covid-19 pandemic forced millions of workers across the globe into remote working and turned the way we work on its head. Prior to the pandemic, flexible or remote working arrangements had been the exception in most organisations – yet overnight it became the norm.

Since then, you couldn’t move for endless (and varied) commentary about the ‘future of work’ – with predictions ranging from the complete abolition of offices, collapse of co-working spaces through to the return of full time office presence. Two years on and we’ve settled on a more middle ground – hybrid work.

The New Normal

As lockdown restrictions ease across the globe, we’ve witnessed many different approaches to hybrid working – whether a formal company policy, or a ‘choose how you work’ model. However, no matter the approach, one thing remains clear – flexibility is here to stay.

There have been many studies that reinforce this – and all of them put the onus on the employer. Global research from The Adecco Group found that 40% of workers are considering moving to jobs with more flexible options, 80% of employees said they’d be more loyal to their employer if they provided flexible working options according to Flexjobs, and the Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey found that 43% said that flexible working hours helped them be more productive.

The benefits of a more hybrid model of working is therefore clear and resound – yet, as with any new trend, it brings with it a fresh and unique set of challenges from a security perspective.

Security Challenges of Hybrid Working

Risks in the connected home

IoT devices continue to grow in popularity – whether it’s smart assistants, fridges, doorbells, or thermostats. While they seem unconnected to working life, these devices create more entry points for cyber criminals. If a cybercriminal can hack a smart device (which aren’t always designed with safety in mind), they gain entry to any other device on the same network – including corporate devices. Luckily, many manufacturers are now taking IoT security a lot more seriously and adopting a security by design approach. For consumers, device security starts and…