Modern work trend of remote workers is a threat to IT security

13 May

Are remote workers bringing your business down? Are they putting your IT security at risk? Recent surveys have proven that a large number of IT security incidents are caused by the negligent actions of remote workers.

How do remote workers threaten IT security?

They do this by:

  • Using potentially malware-infected devices to connect to the network.
  • Connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi to work.
  • Using personal devices without the correct security measures installed.

Remote workers are a valuable part of most businesses. They can get work done on the move, they can serve clients from all over the world, they cut back on emissions (no transport to the office), and they save the business money in terms of resources, salaries, wages, and built-in benefits.

Mitigate the risk of remote workers

While business owners and their associated IT security teams understand the risks that remote workers pose, steps must be followed to mitigate it. Most companies:

  • Implement a formal policy that expressly details the responsibilities, rights, and precautions for remote workers to take in terms of security.
  • Insist that remote workers use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) which hide the device and network IP.
  • Provide remote workers with official business laptops and devices with the correct software, licenses, monitoring systems, and security features.
  • Insist that company approved password managers are used.
  • Set a policy in place for company files to be backed up and encrypted to a secure server instead of saved to the device.
  • Provide all employees with regular, ongoing IT security training.

Surveys & Findings

While most of the IT security surveys you will find online pertain to the US market, it’s safe to say that the situation is similar across the globe.

A large portion of businesses making use of remote workers for various essential business servers have experienced a data breach of some sort as a direct result. It seems to be a general trend that companies still don’t allow their dedicated IT departments to fine-tune a security system and policy that works perfectly for the business.

IT departments should be tasked with more than just running cables, setting up software programs, and answering general IT troubleshooting questions. IT security departments should be educated and trained to add real value to the business. Educating your IT department on security is essential.

Last Word

Remote work is a concept that is only going to become more popular with time. Businesses have access to a bigger talent pool and can engage with employees on a more valuable level with remote working. Unfortunately, remote workers pose unique security risks.

Avoid overlooking these risks and take an active approach towards ensuring that your business can still benefit from its remote workers without having to suffer the potential losses.

Comments are closed.