According to the United State Census Bureau, workers who spend the majority of their workweeks working at home rose from 3.6 percent in 2005 to 4.3 percent in 2010. That might not seem like all that much, but when you consider the millions of adult workers in the U.S. The number is much more impressive.
The increasing number of business and professional men and women who work from home presents new problems for modern business owners to consider—risk. Of course, this doesn’t even count those who work remotely after hours or only spend one or two days per week working from home. The more people who are working from home, the greater the risks are—especially as it concerns cyber security. And no matter how careful you happen to be there are risks involved.
Primary Areas of Concern
We live in the information age where information is king. Everyone is trying to get their hands on whatever kind of information they can find. That’s why cyber security is becoming an increasing concern for large and small businesses alike. While it’s great to be able to allow workers the convenience of working from home when necessary, there can be a price to be paid for that too.
The two primary areas of concern happen to be the theft of information through hacking and the theft of the actual equipment that contains information about clients and company finances. Microsoft offers the suggestion of a strongly encrypted hard drive that has a 14-character password combined with tracking software that will not only locate the stolen device but also remove all of its data, creating a clean slate.
Solving the Problems Created by Remote Employees
There are plenty of benefits that go along with giving your workers the opportunity to work from home. Among them are cost savings to the company on office space, office equipment, and lost productivity.
The good news is that there are things you can do to mitigate the risks your business takes in order to allow workers the convenience of working remotely. These are just some of the steps you can take to greatly reduce your exposure to risks from telecommuting workers:
1) Establish a policy for working from home that involves several safety protocols to secure trade secrets as well as important client information and/or data.
2) Only allow employees to have access to the information that is absolutely required for them to do their jobs.
3) Invest in cyber liability insurance to protect the company in the event that the unthinkable does happen and your security is breeched.
These might not seem like huge steps, but they will help guide your business in the right direction when you have remote workers on your payroll.