It is becoming more common for companies to hire employees on a remote basis, thanks to the substantial advances in mobile technologies and networking. These remote employees possess company devices and are able to work from any location. While there are advantages to this virtual arrangement, there can be some challenges when it comes to remote workers and data security.
Issues with Remote Workers and Devices
As computing infrastructures become more dispersed and regionalized, maintaining data security on mobile machines can become complicated. If these remote devices are infected with malware or some other type of virus, the entire company and its network can be impacted. Valuable company data could be compromised allowing unauthorized individuals or entities to access confidential information.
Mobile devices are also vulnerable to theft, meaning they could be susceptible to data leaks. There is also the possibility that outsiders can access company information. When mobile devices are stolen, the thief will attempt to wipe all data and applications on the device. If successful, vital data may disappear from the network resulting in financial, legal and reputational tribulations. This is why organizations must prepare for any potential security issues that may arise.
Monitor Remote Employees
Many companies are monitoring remote employees so they are aware of all activities taking place on the company devices. They use cloud-based examining tools that make monitoring seamless and discreet. This is effective for employers as they are able to keep track of employee hours, work projects and company activities. It also ensures that employers will know if there are any activities that could become a security threat. They can even control security and antivirus software used on the device.
Monitoring remote workers are necessary for workplace accountability and device security.
Document the Security Policy
Remote employees in particular need to fully understand the company’s security policy. That is why it is crucial for organizations to document and outline the security policy and make sure all employees have proper training in order to fully comply with the security policy. For instance, a security policy may include avoiding uploading files to systems that are not secure. If remote workers are unaware of this policy and upload files to unsecured systems, they are practically inviting hackers to access company files. It is likely unintentional, but it poses a high-security risk. It is also important to make sure remote employees are aware of any updates to the security policy.
Not all records are digital. Paper records handled by remote employees can also get lost in the shuffle and end up in the wrong hands, putting your company at risk. All employees should be aware of the organization’s secure destruction procedure, which should include a shredding policy.
Encrypt Company Devices
Updating systems and devices is vital, but it is not enough when it comes to security. Data encryption is needed in order to strengthen a company’s remote access security. Encryption translates data into a different code where only individuals with access to a particular decryption key or password can read the data. Basically, encryption scrambles data, making it illegible to unauthorized individuals or entities. The primary objective of data encryption is to secure digital data confidentiality as it is stored on to computer systems and transmitted through different networks.
Encryption makes it exceedingly difficult for unauthorized users to access crucial data, which is even more important on devices operated by remote employees. It is a key factor when it comes to remote workers and data security.