A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises are still grappling with complexities of the hybrid workplace. Many organizations across the globe implemented a hybrid model, allowing employees to work remotely or in-office, while others continue to operate fully remotely.

To better understand the security and productivity impacts of hybrid work environments, Entrust surveyed 1,500 leaders and 1,500 full- and part-time employees from 10 countries. The survey polled workers across four global regions, identifying what leaders are doing to keep pace with the key issues organizations continue to face.

Results show that regardless of what each organization’s “new normal” looks like, leaders are struggling to strike the right balance between security and positive user experiences as security challenges continue to soar.

The results are in: Security and productivity remain a challenge

Let’s take a closer look at three main themes from Hybrid’s Impact on Workplace Security and Productivity, the final report in our Securing the Hybrid Workplace series.

1. Security issues are a top concern.

More than half (54%) of managers said their organization has encountered security issues when using digital collaboration tools for work. Furthermore, 75% of leaders who faced these problems noted their security issues arose during the pandemic, with cyberattacks from bad actors as the most common threat.

The use of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments, along with the increased usage of digital collaboration tools (e.g., communication tools and video conferencing) contributes to the challenge. For example, each application provider uses its own identity concept and requires a unique set of login credentials. Siloed applications don’t provide a streamlined user experience for employees, which often results in employees reusing passwords or finding ways to circumvent security measures.

2. Data security training must pertain to prevalent issues.

The transition to remote and hybrid work has underscored the importance of data security training efforts, but recent data signals communication gaps between leaders and employees. While 81% of leaders say their company has provided training on hybrid work data security, only 61% of employees say their companies offered this type of training.

While both groups agree that data security training is beneficial, the majority of training focuses on general best security practices. With phishing and ransomware attacks on the rise, organizations should consider tailoring their training efforts more specifically to these ubiquitous cybersecurity threats.

3. Network access issues are costing productivity.

Although we’re approaching the two-year mark of hybrid work, organizations are struggling to find the right balance between security and usability when it comes to network access. Enterprises have implemented additional authentication measures including biometric authentication, multi-factor authentication and one-time passwords to shore up security, but these measures are hindering productivity in certain organizations.

In fact, 40% of employees said their organization’s network access has caused significant productivity delays at least four times in the past 12 months. More than half (52%) of employees said they have been unable to access work, and 47% said they have had a late start to their workday due to cumbersome authentication methods.

Download the complete Hybrid’s Impact on Workplace Security and Productivity report for more insights

Download Hybrid’s Impact on Workplace Security and Productivity, the last of three Securing the New Hybrid Workplace reports, for a deeper understanding of the impacts of remote and hybrid work. In the report, you’ll discover more detailed findings about what’s needed to improve data security and employee productivity in today’s workplace.

In case you missed the first two reports in our series, you can access Perfecting the Hybrid Work Model here, and Pulse Check On In-Office Security for Work Models here for a deeper dive into what leaders and employees across the globe are doing to protect their data in the new hybrid workplace.

If you’re interested in learning more about our solutions built for the new hybrid workplace, get in touch with our team today.