How to Collaborate Securely in a Hybrid World

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Collaboration, Security | 0 comments

As companies increasingly offer people the option to work remotely, a hybrid environment where employees work both onsite and from home continues to become the new normal. Businesses will need to find solutions that help protect their employees while also providing a secure and collaborative way for them to work. The best answer to the security and coordination issues facing hybrid environments, while maintaining high performance, is to ensure businesses are leveraging a variety of security and productivity tools.

What is the Significance of Secure Collaboration?

Cybercrime is a global problem impacting every business and, in many cases, everyone. With a substantial increase in remote workers using cloud-based web applications, cybercrime continued to increase during the pandemic. According to research from the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds. A recent Verizon survey found that phishing attacks increased by 11 percent in 2020, and ransomware attacks rose by 6 percent. Experts predict there will be a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021.

The rise of the enterprise network is inevitably driven by the mobile workers using these networks, and this creates a vast security threat landscape. There are billions of mobile workers worldwide, and the number is only increasing. IDC projects the global IT and communications industry is poised to grow by an estimated 4.2% this year and an estimated 5% compound annual growth rate for the industry until 2024. These workers are mobile, global, and increasingly virtual, with the ability to access and use many of the same services and technologies as their colleagues in the office. However, this increased connectivity introduces a new set of risks and threats to this emerging digital workforce.

Hybrid Work Collaboration and Security Challenges

A hybrid environment offers its own unique challenges that require particular care and oversight. Some of the issues are specific to hybrid environments, while others are general to any workspace environment—network access, connections and use of security tools, bandwidth issues, performance of online collaboration tools, packet loss, network congestion, and more.

New return-to-work solutions aim to address both aspects of returning to normal, ensuring those in the office are safe while also helping businesses provide remote workers with secure access to the resources they need to do their jobs. These solutions range from automating, securing, and scaling network connectivity, to social density and proximity insights for employee health and safety, to securely bringing people together to work however and wherever they want through Microsoft Teams.

Collaboration Tools

Technology innovations are enabling enterprise collaboration to move beyond video conferencing and the initial creation of documents to address critical business problems.

Microsoft Teams is a secure collaborative workspace within Microsoft 365/Office 365 that acts as a central hub for workplace conversations, collaborative teamwork, video chats and document sharing, all designed to aid worker productivity in a unified suite of tools. Some key features of Microsoft Teams include:

  • Easy access on any device via an easy-to-use app available on Android, Windows, and iOS
  • Recording
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint Online
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Quickly Integrate with 3rd party Applications – Microsoft Teams supports over 800 third party applications

Final Thoughts

Peters & Associates is an award-winning Chicago-based IT managed service provider. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to help boost your organization’s productivity and connectivity while maintaining security. Contact us for your technology needs.
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