How to identify data breaches when you have a hybrid workforce

As we emerge from the pandemic, hybrid working has proven hugely popular for individuals and organisations alike: staff enjoy increased flexibility and reduced commuting, and organisations benefit from lower overheads and greater productivity. Plus, the environmental benefits of homeworking are unmistakable. 

However, hybrid working also provides greater opportunities for cyber criminals. It introduces new security vulnerabilities, makes staff more susceptible to phishing attacks, and makes it harder for security teams to respond to incidents. 

Although the past 18 months have seen new working practices become normal for many organisations, security strategies are still struggling to adapt. 

hybrid work

Detecting data breaches has always been a challenge.

Even with staff working on-site, with everyone connected to the same network and with antivirus, anti-malware and other technological security solutions in place, organisations seldom know they’ve been breached until a third party informs them – usually because stolen data can be traced back to them.

In fact, dwell time – the period between a security breach and its discovery – is more often measured in months than days. This isn’t so much a failing on the part of the victims as efficiency on the part of the attackers. After all, they don’t want to be detected. (Ransomware, which is effective only when the victim knows of its existence, is the exception to this rule and inevitably has a much shorter dwell time.)

Of course, technical vulnerabilities aren’t the only causes of data breaches.

Human error is regularly found to be the most common reason for security and data breaches. For instance, data can be sent to the wrong recipient by accidentally using cc instead of bcc when emailing groups of people, and staff can accidentally click malicious links and open dubious attachments in phishing emails or fall for other social engineering attacks.

And if the breached data is personal information, you risk substantial fines or regulatory action under the UK GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and DPA (Data Protection Act) 2018.

One way of ensuring the security of the data you are responsible for is to use tools to check your systems for suspicious activity. But what can you do when data moves beyond your systems?


BreachTrak is a service provided by our sister company DQM GRC. It allows you to monitor data usage by both your employees and your supply chain, so you can track it at all points in its lifecycle.

BreachTrak is the most comprehensive solution on the market. We can monitor the dark web, surface web, email, phone and physical mail for your data, helping you to quickly identify unusual activity.

By placing our unique Trakkers into your systems – such as CRM, finance and operational delivery – you can identify and monitor how your data is being used outside your organisation and get ahead of any problems.

Find out more

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