In the last several years, businesses small and large have realized that enabling remote workers leads to a more productive, competitive workforce. With multiple mobile devices, remote workers can simply do more. Picture an employee using a smartphone to videoconference with colleagues to collaborate on a document that they’re editing on a laptop while keeping an eye on sales numbers on a desktop and staying up to date on urgent emails using a tablet. The employee doesn’t have to be anywhere near a desk or work during normal business hours to achieve this, either. In fact, according to research by iPass, remote workers put in 240 hours more a year than non-mobile employees.
In addition to productivity, remote work solutions support business continuity by ensuring employees can work even when they can’t physically access the office. But a remote workforce also creates security concerns that a more traditional enterprise may not be prepared to handle without some guidance. Here are three facts you should know when consulting with customers.
1. When it comes to the remote workforce, security is a top concern.
Multiple research reports and analyst firms confirm that security concerns are the biggest hurdles to remote work and BYOD. Nearly every organization handles at least some sensitive, confidential, or proprietary data, and enterprises in certain large sectors also must comply with strict and sometimes confusing data privacy regulations. Mobility and BYOD increase the number of potential attack surfaces for a cybercriminal to exploit. You’ll need to reassure that you’re up to the task of securing assets like customer payment card numbers, bank account data, or protected health information (PHI). We can help you get up to speed on technologies like mobile device management (MDM), enterprise mobility management (EMM), data loss prevention (DLP) and client-side data encryption.
2. Remote access is a key issue.
A remote workforce is, above all, mobile. That means a rethinking of network access. To enable employees to remain productive anywhere, anytime, organizations must provide secure remote access to the applications and data they need to do their jobs. Failing to ensure security poses a grave threat. Employees have a tendency to adopt consumer-facing SaaS applications without IT or management approval when they’re locked out of needed resources. Solving this issue will, in some cases, demand improvements to the VPN. In other cases, it may require a migration of certain resources and applications to a private or public cloud.
3. Businesses aren’t investing enough in security.
These technologies will go a long way toward securing the remote workforce and the data it handles, but not all (or even most) IT decision-makers have shown themselves willing to greenlight enough budget for such purchases. Investing more in security for remote workers will require clear communication of the consequences of a breach. Among the most serious consequences are a public embarrassment and brand damage, lost revenues, and hefty fines.
Remote workforce security is a critical component of any organization’s overall security posture. To learn more, contact our consultants today at 504-934-7124, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.