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Return to the Office Part 2: Is Your Security Strategy Up to Date?

Return to the Office Part 2: Is Your Security Strategy Up to Date?

In Part Two of our series, we explore why IT teams must prepare for employees’ return to the office, and how to ensure they can continue to work safely from any location.

Over the last year, companies and employees have adjusted to a changing work landscape. As many transitioned from the office to a remote work setup, it presented challenges for organizations everywhere. Now, as more and more workers return to the office, IT teams must be prepared to take the steps to protect every employee and every device.

The pandemic moved workers from the corporate network to the great unknown of unsecured home networks, which presents issues for employees returning to the office. Is your IT team prepared for employees to return to the office in a full-time or hybrid role, while continuing to support the needs of those working remotely?

It’s important that IT security strategies evolve and change. The return to the office will be less rushed than the quick shift to remote work, but attention must be given to this latest pivot.

Preparing for the Return to the Office

Many employees have been away from their office for over a year. If their devices haven’t been properly maintained, it can lead to security concerns upon the return to the office. IT teams may have adjusted to allow employees to log in via Virtual Private Network (VPN), so work could be completed from just about anywhere.

As employees return to the office, every device on the corporate network must have the latest patches and updates. This includes not just the laptops that may have been in use during this time, but also the routers, printers, and other devices left behind in the office that were powered off for the last year. A health check can promote network security, and ensure the IT staff has the opportunity to certify every device and update it with the latest hardware, software, and antivirus protection.

Bad actors can sit around for weeks or even months, waiting for the opportunity to attack. Attackers understand where weaknesses exist, and seek to exploit them when most convenient. There’s no better time for malicious attackers to strike than the moment dozens of devices come back from unsecured home networks, ready to infiltrate the corporate network with malware. Thankfully, there are now next-gen solutions designed to prevent and mitigate attacks.

Building a Forward-Thinking Technology Infrastructure 

As organizations rushed to provide employees with the equipment needed to work from home, they may have had to make compromises in terms of security. Traditional antivirus software no longer provides the necessary protection against today’s sophisticated hackers.That’s why every organization should have Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) protection. NGAV is smarter than traditional antivirus tools, using machine learning and AI to detect even the smallest of changes to files and applications. When combining NGAV with endpoint detection and response (EDR), it’s easier to detect suspicious activity and mitigate an outside attack.

Legacy antivirus products slow endpoints down, and don’t provide the same protection as NGAV. Implementation of NGAV on the Cloud has no impact on endpoints, and there’s no need to procure additional software or hardware to protect devices.

The use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) has increased in the last year, too. Multi-factor authentication adds an additional layer of protection via a security question or combination of information only the user has the answer to. This makes it harder for hackers to infiltrate company networks to access sensitive data.

Now, more than ever, cyber liability insurers are looking into business continuity plans and organizations’ security resources. Some insurers may even deny coverage if best practices such as MFA, EDR, and NGAV aren’t in place. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your IT security strategy is prepared for employees’ return to the office, while also balancing the needs of those who will continue to work from home.

Thrive can build the cyber security solution that best fits your organization. If you’re preparing for a return to the office, get in touch with our team to ensure everyone in your organization can work safely and efficiently, no matter where they log on from.