Hybrid hang-ups?

User devices acting as gateways for malicious attacks (42%) and employees being less attentive to risks when at home (42%) named joint-first in biggest security risks as a result of greater hybrid working.

New research from Europe’s leading provider of cloud infrastructure and cloud services, IONOS Cloud, has highlighted the biggest security risks businesses are facing when it comes to hybrid working, and views and attitudes on how to ensure organisations stay safe and secure.

When IT decision makers (IT DMs) were asked about the biggest risks hybrid working is causing businesses, user devices acting as gateways for malicious attacks (42%), employees being less attentive to risks when at home (42%), and user devices being away from the corporate network for too long (40%) topped the list.

The evolution of working habits is also causing additional stress, with over two thirds (69%) of respondents saying hybrid working is putting more pressure on teams to ensure the business is prepared for cyber security threats.

The research, which was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of IONOS Cloud, polled 557 IT decision makers who currently have a hybrid working approach.

When it came to improving security around hybrid working practices, almost three quarters (74%) of respondents agreed that their business must communicate more regularly about the increased cyber security risks caused by hybrid working. In addition, a further 70% agreed the business needs to invest in more education for employees on cyber security risks, and nearly seven out of 10 (69%) of those asked agreed that the business must put longer term strategies in place.

Focusing on data protection standards, over a third (35%) found working from home means employees are not adhering to data protection standards and nearly three in 10 (29%) say hybrid working has made it hard to manage data protection standards.

Positively, some businesses are already taking action to implement change, with 67% of IT DM’s agreeing that the business they work for is putting enough funding into updating its cyber security strategy in the face of hybrid working.

Commenting on the findings, Peter Prahl, SVP International and Digital Cloud for IONOS said: “Although it has many benefits, hybrid working can create a variety of technical challenges. With clear education and knowledge gaps within businesses, and companies still managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a time when many organisations are more vulnerable than ever before.”

Exploring the hybrid working impact on a business’s cloud strategy, 38% of respondents have increasingly looked at cloud-based IT operating models, 38% will increase the use of hybrid cloud management and 35% are moving workloads and applications to the private cloud.

Peter Prahl concluded: “With hybrid working creating more complex environments to manage, considering a multiple cloud strategy to address different use cases can be hugely beneficial to not only address cyber-threats but manage sensitive data securely as well.

“An improved cloud strategy can provide scalable, flexible and most importantly secure platforms for businesses. For those unsure where to start, external cloud providers can work with IT teams to put a strategy in place tailored to your business’s hybrid working needs, while offering an extra layer of defence and additional knowledge on ever-evolving cyber threats and legislation changes.

“Businesses may also want to consider mitigating risk further by working with European-based cloud providers that adhere to GDPR – rather than those that must also work under laws such as the US CLOUD Act.”

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