Remote working on the rise: Is there a security risk?

Jess Shanahan
- Leadership - Dec 01, 2015

Remote working is on the rise thanks to a vast array of flexible technology solutions that make it easy for employees to work as they would in an office but from anywhere in the world. Businesses are moving services such as telephony, work stations and more into the cloud, giving remote access to their employees.

According to a study commissioned by Imation Corp, 96% of businesses now allow remote working with 98% of those saying it’s advantageous to their business.

The survey of 500 IT decision makers in the UK and Germany conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Imation Corp found around three in five organisations believe that remote working has increased employee motivation due to greater flexibility (62%), and led to increased productivity as employees can work from multiple locations (61%).

The flexibility of remote working practices enables employees to work from numerous locations, with the most common methods of remote working being: home working (62%); BYOD (Bring Your Own Device, (51%) and VDI (Virtual desktop infrastructure, 46%). On top of this, around a third (32%) of respondents’ organisations have employees that are working from client sites.

Despite the shift in attitude, data breaches and business costs are still amongst the biggest concerns for organisations when weighing up the value of remote working, with nine in ten (92 percent) organisations highlighting that remote working causes challenges or concerns.

Nick Banks, vice president EMEA and APAC, IronKey said:  “Whilst making remote working available to a larger number of employees has its benefits, the cost and risks associated still make it a difficult route for many organisations to tread. Businesses are unaware of the amount, and type, of data leaving the office, yet they are well aware that employees are regularly breaking the rules in order to take work home. Inadequate security, combined with the naivety surrounding the protection of corporate data, is putting organisations at risk of a data breach.

“It is important for companies to embrace mobile working, but managing the security of data on the move and ensuring there are policies in place to protect it, the employees, and the organisations who own it, should be a priority for anyone considering remote working.”

Remote working can be very beneficial for businesses but clear security protocols and employee guidelines should be established.

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