Companies are discovering the benefits of a hybrid workforce, but there are productivity challenges.

Hybrid Workforce and Cyber Security: Why Two Conversations Are Shaping Business Technology

As you shape your technology budgets for the coming years, it can be challenging to know where to prioritize spending. For instance, will an investment in a communications upgrade to a cloud-based solution bring you the most return or is it time to focus on ramping up infrastructure? You may have noticed that there are a couple of topics that tend to dominate technology conversations: the hybrid workforce and cyber security.

Nearly every company has been impacted by these two factors in recent months, so take a look at a deeper discussion of each of them:

The Hybrid Workforce: Companies were forced to abruptly shift to remote work in March 2020, but it didn’t take long for employees and companies to agree that there were some benefits: reduced overhead, more flexibility, and the absence of a commute. The work-life balance advantages of remote work led to some employees making it known that they would find another job before returning to a standard office environment.

Companies are listening and embracing a hybrid workforce that combines the best of in-office and remote benefits. Employees gather for camaraderie and  team-building for some meetings, while gaining the flexibility they want in remaining at a home office part of each week.

With the hybrid workforce comes some challenges, but emerging technology is quickly addressing them. Collaboration solutions are helping solve some of the disconnect that can occur when employees are not physically together, and productivity monitoring tools are helping companies ensure employees stay on task.

Security teams, now past the initial scramble of providing connectivity to remote teams, are working to bolster cyber security measures for the hybrid workforce. Virtualized network security is allowing employees to have consistent, secure access to company resources from the office and from home.

Cyber security: Malicious actors are all too aware of the obstacles that companies face as they try to provide secure connectivity to a hybrid workforce, and they are quick to identify any vulnerabilities in the security plane.

In order to increase visibility into network traffic and streamline configuration and management functions, there is a significant shift to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). While SD-WAN was already being implemented, benefits like segmentation and a centralized dashboard made it essential technology for a hybrid work environment with employees scattered across multiple locations.

Companies are also utilizing multi-factor authorization (MFA) based on a zero-trust network access (ZTNA) approach that assumes every device, every user, is not trustworthy until proven otherwise. Role-based access helps eliminate the potential for human error leading to a cyber security event, and MFA significantly reduces the likelihood of an automated attack, phishing, or even targeted attacks.

There is also a trend shifting security teams away from using passwords or SMS technology for MFA, which can be intercepted by hackers. Instead, a hardware key such as a YubiKey that is matched with the device combines with a knowledge-based question to raise the security standard for which employees can access a particular device or resource.

As you map out your technology budget for the coming months, you may want to include solutions to address the unique challenges that the hybrid workforce introduces in areas like productivity and cyber security. Contact us at Hudson Technology Partners to leverage the technology best suited to help you meet these challenges.