How to maintain security with remotely working employees


Requirement of remote data access is quite common nowadays. With the significant advancements in mobile technologies, cloud computing and networking infrastructure, people are working out of office as comfortably as they have local accessibility of on-premises. Many times employees need to work from home, client locations and even need to be connected while travelling. This requirement of being able to work from anywhere has enabled businesses to improve their productivity. Companies are now able to outsource work load to best talents even they are not living in the same physical location. At the same time employees are more satisfied with their work routine as they are able to connect from anywhere.  They no longer need to spend night in the office for that important meeting or conference call.

Undoubtedly remotely working ability is a boon for businesses as well employees. Computing infrastructures are not centralized but scattered over various locations to ensure the continuous accessibility. However there are few concerns about keeping the data secure. If machines and devices of remote employees are infected with malware, they could intrude the organization’s network too. Also don’t ignore the data leak threat, in case the mobile device of the employee is lost or stolen. These considerations shouldn’t be ignored when we are sharing applications, critical data and network with the employees for outside access capability.  The solution of these issues is not to restrict your employees and machines to the office premises only. There is much more progressive approach for dealing with this scenario, i.e. improving your security mechanism.

Below are the important points you should consider for security purposes:

1)      Devices of remote workers or the employees who use their personal devices for work purposes off-premises should be secure enough to fight and resist data stealing malwares. Barring employees from downloading external stuff and using personal emails could be the ideal measure. However practically this seems unfeasible when employees are working remotely. Therefore companies should use security software and activate automatic updates for keeping system guards up to date.  Of course it is risky to assume that employees would take care of system hygiene and security religiously on their own. You can also use patch management tools for this process.

2)      There are applications with which you can erase the disk data remotely (remote –wipe apps) in case a device is stolen or lost. Installing such applications would help in erasing data and prevent any authorized access of a lost device.

3)      Using cloud based applications would let your employees work from any location. At the same time you don’t need to worry about the data security as genuine cloud providers ensure secure and ubiquitous access. As cloud providers have expert resources and proven strategies, cloud applications are often more secure and efficient. Cloud services like Hosted Exchange and Hosted SharePoint let your employee communicate and collaborate anytime and anywhere without risking data security.

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