Remote working is rapidly becoming a customary practice within many organisations, and IT managers are being tasked with making the mobile working environment and corporate data more secure. The challenge however, is managing the security of data on the move, while maintaining the flexibility and productivity of employees working from a myriad of remote locations.
As new research from Imation and Vanson Bourne shows that most surveyed organisations now permit remote/mobile working and find it to be advantageous to their organisation, securing mobile workers is becoming even more challenging.
Around three in five organisations believe that remote working has increased employee motivation due to greater flexibility and increased productivity as employees can work from multiple locations. Traditionally, an organisation’s internal resources are accessed on-site. But the flexibility of remote working practices enables employees to work from numerous locations, with the most common methods of remote working being: home working, BYOD (Bring your own device) and VDI (Virtual desktop infrastructure). On top of this, around a third of respondents’ organisations have employees that are working from client sites.
As a result, organisations need to provide better portability while still providing comparable security in terms of confidentiality, integrity, and authentication of data. Organisations cannot allow flexibility without ensuring the necessary protection of corporate assets.
According to the survey, organisations are failing to keep track of what data employees take with them from the office – with employees still using potentially unsecure methods such as printing information out on paper and emailing files to themselves. This could have huge, detrimental ramifications for any organisation, particularly when taking into account that around four in 10? of respondents’ organisations do not currently have a remote working policy that covers IT security considerations . Not to mention only a small number of organisations enforce, or plan to enforce their remote working policy via IT processes.
Employees are also regularly breaking their organisation’s security rules in order to work remotely, and many organisations recognise that the data that leaves the office could be more adequately secured. Security must be top priority for organisations that permit remote working to prevent data breach and the financial and reputational implications that can result in one.
With this in mind, organisations need to find a balance that enables them to embrace mobile working and manage the security of data on the move. Anyone considering remote working as an option should prioritize protecting corporate data, the employees, and the organisations that own it and ensure there are policies in place for this protection. There should not be an option to choose between flexibility and security – you can’t have one without the other.