Cisco Experts Share Key Tips to Maintain Security in the Hybrid Work Environment

Cisco’s experts have shared some key tips to maintain strong security in the face of a hybrid work environment.

Hybrid work environments have become an integral element for businesses in South Africa and across the world, notably with travel restrictions being eased and more employees getting comfortable with travel and remote working. This has also introduced ever-rising levels of complexity and security risks.

Today the increase in cyber-attacks poses a mounting threat in a workplace redefined by remote capabilities. Whether teams are working in the office, remotely, or while traveling, Cisco experts share top tips that users can implement, thus ensuring a smooth hybrid working experience.

As work patterns change and hybrid work becomes the norm, the traditional notion of the workplace with its rules and hierarchies is being replaced by a far more flexible approach based around hybrid working. Yet we must not forget that this growth and flexible working is underpinned by maintaining the security of the data and the systems that process it.

Employees working remotely must be aware of their responsibilities to follow good cybersecurity practices. With the freedom and power of hybrid work, also comes the responsibility to work in a cyber secure manner, no matter where we are.

Fady Younes, Cybersecurity Director, EMEA Service Providers and MEA

To raise awareness about security and ensure a safe and seamless user experience, Cisco highlights a few key steps users can take to safeguard from potential cyber-attacks and threats.

  • Make sure to use a strong password that uses a mix of characters, numbers, and symbols
    • The most common passwords of 2022 still include 123456, QWERTY, password and more. Create unique passwords for each account that use a variety of cases and symbols and change it annually.
  • Take advantage of two-factor authentication
    • Two factor authentication (2FA) adds a layer of security that is easy for users while making it significantly more difficult for anyone who should not be accessing private data. 2FA technologies mean that users have a chance to catch malicious abuse of their credentials and administrators have the meta-data from the user’s acknowledgement, so can see unusual time or location of access.
  • Be smart about how devices are used
    • The way a device is used can play a role in how vulnerable it can get to cyber-attacks. PIN codes and passwords are not to be associated with important dates or other information, while apps should be installed from trusted sources only. Another key tip is to ensure that the device software is up-to date.
  • Be aware of scam calls

Be on the lookout for scam calls and emails, especially ones that request fund transfers to allegedly support people in dire circumstances. On the other hand, phishing emails today can be very convincing. The key to identifying these scams are to watch out for odd wording, email address, strange links, companies with generic addresses and more. Working remotely may also open the avenue for phone calls with a likely story and be asked to download or authorise something via smartphone. In these cases, ensure IT departments are notified.

  • Regularly update end point protection
    • End point protection is of key importance to detect and neutralise malware. To be completely safe, it is advised to have end point protection up to date with the latest signatures installed.

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