With lockdown easing here in the UK, many employees are returning to on-premises working, which many IT professionals will find an easier environment to secure. Some enterprises, however, have found that allowing personnel to work flexibly has led to greater levels of productivity, efficiency and employee happiness, and have decided to adopt a hybrid style of working.

Major companies, such as Siemens, have been outspoken on the issue, with the German automation giant stating:

“Through dialogue with our employees about their preferences and the business needs, we are creating new ways of working that are less driven by the location of a Siemens building or fixed hours of working, but more by a focus on delivering outcomes and an openness to exploring flexible approaches which meet the needs of both.”

Smaller firms are also finding offering flexible working hours is useful when they operate small offices, as social distancing guidelines can be more easily met. While hybrid working has numerous advantages for both companies and their staff, it’s critical that all data handled, shared and stored remains safe. The following are some key points to remember.

Keep communications private

Hybrid workers should be urged to never use personal emails or SMS services to send company communications. Any enterprise data should only be exchanged via secure channels using the firm’s email system to ensure optimum protection levels.

Employ encryption software

Encrypting all data files and email communication is crucial to ensure your confidential information is never left vulnerable. With staff operating off-premises, this has never been a more vital measure to take.

Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication

Staff must never be allowed to select their own passwords. Issue them strong credentials that can’t be easily cracked by cybercriminals. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently advised using three-word combinations to confound attackers and make passwords easy for staff to recall. Change these passwords regularly and activate multi-factor authentication as an extra layer of defence.

Store data safely

Data must never be stored locally on the personal desktops and devices of employees when they are hybrid working, as this puts critical information at risk. Ensure data is always stored safely on a secure server and tag files with appropriate authorisation levels for access rights. Data that is sensitive must never be saved in easily accessible areas of your system where it can be publicly viewed.

Do not permit home printing and keep all paper documents onsite, where they can be disposed of safely in company shredders in line with data protection regulations.

Stay secure while remaining agile

The secure workspace from Galaxkey offers the next generation in flexible working support. Our system guarantees staff can work safely from their personal or work device from any location using a wide variety of operating systems. Robust encryption keeps cybercriminals locked out of your data, and no passwords are ever stored.

Contact our expert team today to explore advanced protection for hybrid working by taking a tour of our system with a free online demonstration.