Here’s to Hybrid & Working Remotely: Protecting Your Company Data

Written by Sterling Ideas

April 4, 2024

Here, we share essential IT tips to support the remote or hybrid staff of small to mid-sized companies.  

Transitioning to hybrid or remote work is not without challenges – trust us, thanks to our recent office move, we know. One of the most substantial hurdles businesses face with hybrid work is ensuring data security. Your employees may work from various locations, and every device they use could potentially become a gateway for cybercriminals! This emphasizes the importance of safeguarding your company’s data through endpoint security and other means.  

We believe a well-managed IT system is your first line of defense against cyber-attacks and critical to ensuring seamless workflows for your remote teams.  

The Importance of Data Protection in Remote Work 

  • A study by McAfee found that the average organization has 5.3 devices per employee, providing many access points for potential cyber threats.

  • A survey by Gartner found that 80% of employee tasks are now performed on a device other than a desktop, making endpoint security increasingly crucial.

  • The shift towards remote working has exponentially increased the risk of security breaches, with 70% of IT professionals stating their organization experienced a cybersecurity incident due to remote working, according to a study by Malwarebytes. 

For offices with hybrid or remote team members, managed IT services like ours can help with the implementation of secure remote access solutions such as VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).   

Additionally, we can enable multi-factor authentication (MFA), adding an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access. All are supported by secure cloud storage solutions, reducing the risk of possible data loss and enabling secure access from any location. 

Let’s Explain Endpoint Security 

Endpoint security augments traditional firewalls, which are less effective in a remote work setting. This type of security specifically targets the devices, or ‘endpoints,’ that your hybrid workers use. They could be desktops, laptops, or mobile devices. As a part of the company network, endpoint security detects and manages any looming threats these devices could face.  

All businesses, irrespective of their size, need to prioritize endpoint security. When selecting the right endpoint security solution, various factors need to be taken into account. These factors include the number of employees, their geographical locations, and device ownership, to the sensitivity levels of data dealt with. Your endpoint security must be versatile enough to adapt to these variables.  

Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) should also ensure that any endpoint connecting to the corporate network or your organization’s cloud services remains foolproof against malicious attacks.  

We often find that Microsoft Defender for Endpoint provides threat and vulnerability management, attack surface reduction, and post-breach detection, making it an ideal solution for small and mid-sized companies. Because we like being extra secure, we provide tools that ensure continuous traffic encryption, ensuring your data is unreadable if intercepted during transmission.  

Managed IT services can provide endpoint protection, securing all devices connected to the company’s network. 

Ensuring Device Security: Protecting Company Information on Employee Devices 

Remote work necessitates a shift in the approach to securing data on personal devices. By arming yourself and your employees with protective measures, you can create a strong, secure hybrid working environment. Here are some important IT tips:  

#1. Secure Remote Access  

Devices that have access to your company’s internal systems are potential points of entry for cyber threats. Ensure that remote access to your company’s data is secured. Use secure VPNs and encrypted connections to access resources on the company network. Regularly updating the operating systems and software of these devices boosts the security layering. 

Where possible, restrict access to only company-owned devices or private, company-controlled network spaces.   

#2. Practice Regular Software Updates 

Doing regular updates on all software and operating systems is one of the easiest ways to protect remote devices! Each update typically includes security improvements, patching up vulnerabilities that cyber attackers could exploit. Make it a habit to install these updates promptly, or if you have MSP they will proactively make these key updates on your behalf.  

#3. Migrate to the Cloud 

Cloud-based solutions provide an extra layer of security for hybrid work when configured properly. They allow centralized management and monitoring of potential cyber threats. Utilizing both on-location and cloud-based security we find typically suits most company’s security needs.  

#4. Firewalls Are Still Helpful 

Despite the limitations of traditional firewalls in a remote work setting, they can still offer a good defense against cyber threats. Keep your firewall activated and properly configured at all times, especially when connecting to public networks.  

By following these tips, remote and hybrid workers and businesses can ensure a more secure data environment. Small to mid-sized businesses can greatly benefit from integrating these practices into their security strategies. To see how we can better protect your information, contact our IT specialists.  

Key Takeaways: 
  • Traditional network security and firewalls cannot fully protect the data of remote and hybrid workers, necessitating the use of endpoint security solutions.

  • Using MIS, enterprises can leverage technologies such as data encryption, VPNs, and biometrics to secure the data on endpoints and limit access to sensitive information.

  • IT services like ours complete regular software updates and patches. We utilize tools to do automatic patching (where possible) for the most timely possible installation. We know these are critical for maintaining cybersecurity and protecting against vulnerabilities. Remember: Always stay up to date with your updates!

  • Managed IT services play a crucial role in addressing these vulnerabilities by implementing a system of centralized control and monitoring for endpoints, deterring cyber threats before they penetrate the network. 

Managed IT Services: Your Ally in Data Protection 

When your business needs robust tools and expert strategies to protect your data as your team takes on the modern challenges of hybrid work, it’s clear: a managed IT service is not a “nice to have,” it’s a must. There are just too many devices accessing your sensitive company data.  

With tailored services for companies of all sizes, Sterling Ideas IT in Tampa Bay offers top-notch endpoint security, firewall management, and comprehensive data protection strategies that perfectly suit hybrid offices. Safeguard your remote operations with IT solutions built to withstand the new wave of constant cyber threats.  

Contact Sterling Ideas IT now for enhanced security that makes remote work seamless, safe, and efficient. Get in touch with us today! 

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