Rick Vanover, Senior Director of Product Strategy, Veeam - Businesses - TECHx

Three steps you should take to improve security for the hybrid businesses

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By: Rick Vanover, Senior Director of Product Strategy, Veeam

Businesses across the Middle East are moving towards a hybrid working model – with some employees beginning to return to offices but a significant proportion still working remotely in some capacity.

As sectors enter a period of recovery – and with non-essential investment set to fall – CIOs will be forced to prioritize their IT spending accordingly.

Cybersecurity poses a constant threat to businesses. This is particularly true now that so much hardware, software, and data sit outside the traditional four walls of the data center.

Outlined below are three immediate steps to boost the cybersecurity wellness of your organization:

  1. Shrink your shadow IT: Employees are working remotely at a scale most companies have never seen before. Whether it’s because companies do not have the systems to fully support a virtual workforce, or employees have turned to consumer apps for professional use, shadow IT has grown exponentially. To reclaim control of data sat outside their four walls, IT teams must ensure employees are aware of the best practice in terms of connecting and saving files via company-provided services or the Virtual Private Network (VPN). Furthermore, company-secured and password-protected cloud environments must be made compulsory for saving corporate files and personal cloud accounts strongly discouraged.
  • Manage your devices: Connected to the extension of shadow IT is the fact that employees outside the four walls may be using personal devices for corporate use. For any business mandating an extended work from home policy, secure devices must be issued to prevent employees from storing potentially sensitive data on unprotected devices. Furthermore, while a password refresh is one way to up-level security overnight, embracing two-factor authentication across corporate devices is a great way to make your organization less attractive to cyber-attackers.
  • Back up and protect it: This is the simplest cybersecurity rule of them all. If it’s not backed up, it’s not protected. Data sat outside the organization cannot be backed up. Therefore, it’s not recoverable in the event of an outage of cyber-attack. By shrinking shadow IT, organizations can increase the amount of data they are able to protect. Furthermore, organizations must ensure data within the four walls is backed up. This includes cloud-based apps such as Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive, which do not automatically backup data, meaning it may still be unprotected.
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