Are Remote Workers A Larger Security Risk?

Data security in the modern age of remote workers can be a challenge. But the demands of a remote workforce simply call for a modern security strategy. Businesses can leverage a broader talent pool and work across time zones if they are connected in a secure and efficient manner.  Tools like VPN are critical, but a secured connection may not be enough to keep your business protected. Here’s an overview of the real risks of using remote workers to accomplish your business goals, along with some clear wins to help you keep your data protected and your workforce productive.

The Use of Unsecure or Public Wi-Fi Connections

If you know your remote workers are going to be on the road or connecting from public access points, as noted above, a VPN is critical. Wi-Fi connections (in business lounges, on trains, in coffee shops, etc.), can lead to data breaches. But the use of unsecure Wi-Fi is more common than ever. Our recommendation is to encourage remote workers to always connect to trusted network, use VPN, and to never use public Wi-Fi for sensitive information.

Lost Devices or Information

Stolen or lost devices are one of the most common business security incidents. Whether it’s a laptop left at a bus stop or a phone picked out of a purse, device theft or loss is costly beyond the use of the device itself. Unless your remote workforce has the appropriate security protocols in place, a device in the wrong hands is an easy access point for hackers or corporate espionage. Our recommendation to manage this risk is to secure remote devices, make sure your team never leaves devices unattended in public places, and when removing information from the workplace, to encrypt files to ensure that even if they do fall into the wrong hands, it’s that much more difficult to decifer.

Visual Theft

Visual hacking of information on mobile devices can take place almost anywhere and to anyone, not just your remote workers. But for those team members who are more likely to be accessing sensitive information while in public, make sure that they have access to screen protectors that make it more difficult for passersby to view the content on screen, or to simply avoid displaying confidential information in a public place.

Improper Document Disposal

Remote workers inevitably create hard copy documents and records that can be a risk if they are not disposed of properly. To protect your business even when working with remote workers, make sure that such document are shredded (both horizontally and vertically so that reassembly is next to impossible), incinerated, or pulped so that no information is available to unauthorized viewers.

When it comes to digital files, don’t forget to be equally thorough. Simply deleting the files is not enough. Until that space has been written over, the possibility of recovering data still exists. Similar to shredding important paper documents, one way to ensure that your personal information is not easily accessed is by “shredding” of the individual files on the hard drive. There are a variety of software programs which can shred files, but it can be confusing to know which one is right for you.

While it can be difficult to make sure that mobile employees are following the rules one hundred percent of the time, training them and providing them with the tools they need to be as secure and safe as possible is a clear win for your business. To make it a priority for everyone, make sure you highlight the importance of information security for your remote workforce.

If you need guidance on how to get everyone on the right track when it comes to data management, connect with the experts at Happy Faces Records Management today.


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