Security risks of working remotely is huge. Remote working is a rising trend and it is easy to see why given the benefits to both employees and employers. If you allow your employees to work from home there are a few important considerations to bear in mind regarding the security risks of working remotely.
Firstly, it is highly unlikely that your employees’ home network is as secure as your office network therefore, we strongly recommend that you talk to Binary Limited about reducing this risk. We’ve all heard horror stories where home wi-fi networks have been easily hacked, the next step from there would be to access information stored on computers that use or share the network. What hackers choose to do with that information is anyone’s guess but it is not a stretch to imagine your intellectual property or trade secrets posted on the internet for all to see and use or in endless in-boxes around the world.
Secondly, you will hopefully have established protocols in the office regarding the protection of your information and work in progress. For example, secure printing, secure document destruction, monitored and auditable access to files. These protocols are often forgotten about in the remote environment but ironically, are arguably even more important outside the controlled environment of the office. While hacking has sinister connotations, sometimes the security risks of working remotely are linked to the most innocent actions which can potentially have significant impacts. For example, what if your employee is working from home and accidentally deletes a file or their home computer or even their work laptop crashes? If they are not working on the office network, the file won’t be stored on the network so it is unlikely to have been backed up and the file may have become corrupted even if it can be restored – further wasting time and effort in the process which defeats one of the purposes of working from home, that is, to improve productivity and efficiency.
Finally, we have mentioned Stuxnet in a previous post and how easily it is transmitted. Stuxnet just one of a multitude of viruses out there in cyber space, therefore, you are exposing your data to further risk by allowing files to be taken off your network and put on to your employees’ computer or even stored locally on a work laptop. Any contact with a network outside of your office needs some mitigation to protect you from external risks.
Please don’t get us wrong, we are not saying that people shouldn’t work from home – far from it! We believe that this is a positive and productive initiative for employers to implement. All the points above apply if your workforce travels and accesses the internet or your network from hotels, airports, client sites or other remote arrangements. The security risks of working remotely can be safely, securely and simply managed.
We strongly urge you to talk to us to discuss your remote working needs so that you have effective mitigation strategies in place and your priceless data remains protected regardless of where your employees work.