Working remotely sounds like a good idea for many employees who want a better work-life balance. But the opposite holds true for IT security administrators and employers who deal with the data security threats of telecommuting.
Data Security in the Age of Remote Working
Over 50 percent of companies suspect that their off-site employees’ devices have been hacked, or that working off-site has caused a data breach and other security issues in the last 12 months, according to iPass Mobile Security Report 2018.
iPass, a wireless technology company, conducted a survey on 500 companies from the US, UK, Germany, and France that allow their employees to telecommute. The survey also found that data security incidents involving remote workers occurred mostly in coffee shops, airports, hotels, and train stations.
In the same year, Shred-It, an information security company, released a report with somewhat similar findings. Many business executives and small business owners (SBOs) said there’s a higher risk of a data breach when employees work remotely than when they are at the office. Yet, only a few of them have comprehensive and clear data security policies for remote workers.
What Companies Can Do
While cybersecurity practices for remote work have not caught up yet, here are some actions that companies can set in motion right away:
- Create or update company policy dedicated to remote workers. This way, employees who work from home or other sites have clear data security guidelines to follow.
- Train off-site employees on information security best practices. Seasoned cyber professionals from Cask, LLC say it’s best to devise a custom training solution to educate employees on information security’s best practices today and in the future.
- Reduce points of vulnerability. Instruct remote workers to keep confidential documents in one secure cloud location, rather than on their individual storage.
Remote work is becoming the new norm. Now, it is up to businesses to adapt to this change in the workplace setting while keeping their organizations safe from data breaches and other security issues.