Managing Remote IT Risks for Remote Workers
Updated: Jan 19
With the rise of modern high-speed internet and a shifting workforce in recent decades, remote work began to take off even before the global pandemic. Since 2020, however, this trend has accelerated tremendously and millions of Australians have made the shift to remote work.
Sure, working from home has its benefits. From eliminating time-consuming commutes to reducing the need for costly office space leases, the benefits also carry over to employers in many cases. But it does come with its own risks that need to be assessed.
One of the biggest risks that come with the shift to remote workforces is that of data security. Whilst data security was (or at least, should certainly have been) a major risk factor for traditional office workplaces in the good old days, the scale of this specific risk has magnified greatly.
Employees working from home using their own private home internet connection and perhaps even using their own personal devices to perform their duties opens up many vectors for cybersecurity threats.
The risk of compromised data is a major one indeed, especially for large organisations that collect and store sensitive data which can be breached by cyber criminals and end up costing millions of dollars in damages.
App-Centric Security vs Device Security
Following on the previous point regarding personal devices, even though it’s a good idea to provide all remote employees with company-owned IT assets this can be hard to achieve so it’s good to have robust practices in place for just these types of scenarios.
Managing the risks of device security for non-company owned devices is likely going to be a neverending struggle, so instead consider moving critical business tasks to app-based rather than device-based solutions.
By doing so, app-based security solutions can streamline the cybersecurity risks to the app itself rather and limit access to sensitive data so that it doesn’t need to be stored offline on personal devices in the first place.
IT Asset Disposition
In the pre-pandemic years, keeping taps on redundant and end-of-life IT assets was already a bit of a challenge to say the least. Now, it’s a real nightmare for IT teams with company-owned IT assets now located across sometimes broad distances in the homes of your employees.
It’s more important than ever to have a quality IT asset disposition (ITAD) plan in place to deal with the identification (on a roster or spreadsheet inventory) of all devices, the collection of devices when they no longer work or have reached their end of life, and how to recycle, refurbish, or dispose of them in a secure manner.
Improper data disposal is a prime vector for data breaches that can cost millions, and besides, e-waste is at a global tipping point so consider alternatives to the landfill.
Employee Engagement and Participation
Not being in the office means that all of those small little interactions from the olden days are also gone. Water cooler talk, puffing a durry outside with your mates, or going out for lunch with colleagues from another department all worked towards boosting engagement and a feeling of belonging within the organisation.
Now, employees are stuck inside their four walls and everything’s gotten a lot duller in the social side of work. Keep employees engaged with meaningful conversations and encourage them to participate. This risk is less IT related and more HR-related, but nevertheless is an important consideration for the well-being of your employees.
Manage risks for your organisation, including the risks with remote work, with quality solutions from Risk Wizard.