How many people in your practice take work home with them? How many of them work remotely, at least part of the time?
This probably comes as no surprise to you, but the way people are working is changing … a lot. According to Global Workplace Analytics:
- The work-at-home environment has grown by 173 percent since 2005
- 4.7 million employees work from home at least half of the time
- 40 percent of US employers offer flexible workplace options
That might be where we stand today, but the same study suggests that the work-at-home environment is going to continue to increase at breakneck speed:
- 50 percent of the US workforce currently have jobs that can be performed at least partially remotely
- 80 to 90 percent of US workforce would like to work remotely, at least part of the time
Security is hard enough when everyone is in the same working environment. How do you keep security in check when data is being referenced from many different devices, from many different regions, all over the world?
While you’ll never decrease your risk one-hundred percent, there are some easy security rules you can put into place that will keep your remote workers safe.
Separate your machines
The easiest way to keep your data safe is to separate personal and work life. Do work on a work computer while doing everything for your personal life on a personal computer. If you don’t intermix the two, your risk of contamination decreases. This means you’ll have higher costs to purchase hardware for every employee, as well as continually educating them on the importance of separating their two lives. Still, it will cut down potential risk factors.
Only allow employees to use the tools provided
Employees often look for workarounds to get the job done. Even more so when they work remotely and don’t have someone looking over their shoulder. This falls back on educating workers and having a vetting process for looking at new tools and resources. It also means keeping an eye on what people are using to get the job done.
Don’t forget to give remote workers all the tools
You’ve given remote employees a business computer and smartphone, but what about a router? Home wi-fi routers are often cheaply made and are notorious for being full of bugs. That’s not a way to protect your data when an employee is working with it all day, every day. Make sure you give your team everything they need to stay secure, no matter where they are in the world.
Ensure tools are properly configured
You can provide your remote workers with all the tools they need, but if they don’t use them correctly, your data is at risk. While it’s easier to control what’s happening in the office, it’s more challenging to ensure remote workers handle data securely. This is evidenced by the password “123456” continually being the number one password of choice. No matter what tool or resource you have in place, ensure your remote workers are using it correctly.
Use a corporate VPN
Virtual private networks allow remote workers to connect to an encrypted, corporate-owned network to access any company data. This is especially helpful for keeping medical data secure without compromising HIPAA laws.
Do you have remote workers? How many times is your data accessed outside of your office space?
Is your data secure?
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.