Today's IT departments are facing plenty of new security challenges, especially those supporting employees who work remotely. As you know, this is a trend that really took off with generation Y employees (millennials) seeking employers who could offer a better work/life balance. So, to secure top talent, employers started providing flexible schedules which, more often than not, includes allowing employees to work remotely.
Embracing a remote work policy (or "WFH") means you might have employees working from home, a co-working space, or even from the local Starbuck's. This is a great perk for employees, but it can create a security nightmare for an already overburdened IT department.
So what are businesses doing to keep their systems and data secure? Not as much as they should be, according to a recent survey conducted by Nationwide Insurance. Four hundred business owners with between 11 and 500 employees were asked to share their thoughts about cybersecurity. Here are some of the results that you might find interesting:
- 1 in 5 report that they have provided no cybersecurity training to any of their employees; the number increased to 30% for companies with 11 to 50 employees.
- 65% of owners admit that they have experienced cyberattacks in the form of viruses (33%) and phishing attacks (29%).
- 90% of business owners reported that they believe digital risk will increase as more systems are migrated to online.
- 35% of businesses were completely unaware of the financial costs associated with cyberattacks.
- 50% identified reputation risk as the main reason they would invest in digital security.
These are some pretty alarming numbers. On one hand, business owners acknowledge digital risks and yet many are not taking actions to safeguard their businesses. Much of this may be due to the fact that many don't know quite where to start. If this sounds familiar, then what should you be doing to take actions to secure your business, especially if you have remote workers?
Nationwide suggests businesses get in touch with the U.S. Small Business Administration, which has plenty of best practices suggestions for companies wishing to build a stronger, more secure cyber environment. Awareness of the risk factors is certainly the first step. But all organizations should have security measures in place to safeguard sensitive information. Updating passwords regularly and having a mobile device action plan is also important.
But, above all, don't forget to educate your employees! Those who work for you, especially remote workers, need to understand the importance of security, how to recognize cyber threats and how to avoid becoming a victim.
At TTI, we speak regularly with IT and Telecom professionals who seek to optimize options for their end users, while minimizing security risks. All this must be balanced along with the need to successfully manage and control IT/Telecom costs. Feel free to contact us. We're here to help..