Security Risks Associated with Hybrid Work Model

Amid the ongoing global pandemic, organizations are increasingly adopting a hybrid work model. However, adopting such a model also means dealing with associated security risks.

The recent “State of Hybrid Work Security 2021” survey by Palo Alto Networks, for example, indicates that during the pandemic:

  • 61% of respondents struggled to provide the necessary remote security to support work-from-home capabilities. 
  • 48% of organizations admitted to compromising security or increasing security risk through lax enforcement of security policies and allowing employees more leeway than what was normally acceptable.

Organizations that deprioritized security when they expanded their existing infrastructure to a larger remote work force have seen negative consequences, according to the survey, including increased levels of risky security behavior or security evasion, such as:

  • Using personal devices for work (BYOD)
  • Uploading corporate data to unauthorized applications or cloud services
  • Connecting to unsecured networks
  • Failing to report phishing and other threats
  • Sharing confidential files via email
  • Not updating security on devices

“Factors that contributed heavily to high levels of security evasion included poor collaboration tools, increased BYOD usage without proper security controls or policies in place, and use of unsanctioned applications,” the survey states.