The “Securing the New Hybrid Workplace” report from Entrust found 97% of Singaporean employees favour a hybrid work environment – ranking the highest amongst 10 countries surveyed. However, nothing appears to be set in stone as the report also mentioned businesses as still defining a viable work model for the future, whether in-person, remote or hybrid, that meets the needs of employees and the business.
Some of the findings include:
Hybrid is here to stay, but security concerns are high
The long-term hybrid workplace approach is becoming the new normal with 85% of leaders and 87% of employees said their company is currently using a hybrid model or is fully remote and considering a hybrid work model.
Connectivity remains an issue with 67% of employees reported up to six instances of lost productivity due to network access issues. Other gripes include home internet security (20%) and leakage of sensitive company data (20%) among the top security challenges of leaders.
Visitor management is an in-office priority
Having a detailed record of who has been in and out of a company’s office is a larger priority in 2021. 98% of business leaders and 97% of employees agree that it is important for their company to have a system in place that logs and tracks visitors who enter and exit the building when employees work in the office.
Home office data security presents new challenges
Businesses need to change their data security approach now that employees are more decentralised than ever before.
Data security training has become a priority for leaders, with 75% saying their company has offered employees training on it. 85% of leaders reported that this training was a result of remote work prompted by the pandemic.
As companies in Singapore begin to open their offices and adopt a hybrid work model, we wanted to ask how they are adapting security and identity accordingly.
For example, how will office security evolve in this new era, and are leaders and employees equipped to protect data and sensitive information? Will adapting to hybrid workplaces multiply vulnerabilities, or will enterprises choose smart security strategies to enable employees wherever they work?” said James Cook, director of digital security, Asia Pacific and Japan, at Entrust, observed that many organisations are well-adapted to remote work. He pointed out that the overwhelmingly indicating the desire of 97% of employees to work in a hybrid model moving forward.
“The study provides businesses insight about how to democratise work from anywhere and incorporate security practices into their hybrid approach by working with companies like Entrust to implement solutions such as passwordless and biometric authentication, mobile identity verification and more,” he continued.
Perfecting the hybrid work model
There is no question employers are leaning into a clear desire among employees for hybrid work options, with 73% saying they are considering hiring talent that resides in geographically diverse locations.
For employers following this trend and hiring employees in a new, hybrid environment, there are several ways to improve and secure the onboarding process.
The study found business leaders are improving training methods (47%), rolling out new or improved collaboration tools (39%) and implementing mobile ID issuance for remote employees.
Leaders are taking steps to maintain internal security as they incorporate a hybrid model, with 52% rolling out one-time password technology, 40% utilising biometric authentication and 37% using mobile identity verification, citing the desire to stay ahead of hackers and protect their internal data.
Maintaining and enhancing security at work
As companies start bringing workers back to the office, the ongoing pandemic raises the stakes of physical security to include health, safety and infosecurity.
Entrust found support for organisational visitor management is overwhelming, with 98% of business leaders and 97% of employees agreeing that it is important for their company to have a system in place that logs and tracks visitors who enter and exit the building when employees work in the office.
Companies will begin paying more attention to who’s going in and out of the office building. Reasons for this enhanced scrutiny of visitors is primarily due to caution surrounding COVID-19, with 82% of leaders and 93% of employees citing the risk of spreading COVID-19 as the top reason it is important to have a system in place that manages and tracks guests.
Other reasons included protecting confidential information (58% of leaders and 70% of employees) and avoiding physical harm to employees (64% of leaders and 68% of employees).
Merging data security with WFH standards
Business leaders also agree that it is imperative to consider the intersection of data security and work from home standards. Fortunately, it appears that the introduction of hybrid work has resulted in a step in the right direction for workplace data protection.
While 75% of leaders said their company has offered employees training on data security, the overwhelming majority (85%) said it was offered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating a trend towards enhanced data security.