What happens to security when you work from home?

Three years ago, the Office of National Statistics made a bold prediction: 50% of the UK workforce would be working remotely by 2020. And while the specific circumstances might have been considerably less predictable, the benefits speak for themselves.

From reduced distractions to fewer sick days, remote working comes with big benefits for businesses and individuals alike. But there’s a good reason IT teams are so averse to the idea.

It’s almost always bad for cyber security.

At Alpha Gen, we’re enthusiastic about a world where technology empowers people to work differently. But we’re also realistic about the risks that new technology creates – and the importance of addressing them.

The security challenges of remote working

For years, Bring your Own Data/Device was a terrifying prospect for IT teams and CIOs. Working from home is closer to Bring Your Own Everything. And that creates some very specific challenges.

Less enforcement
When you control every device and every part of the network, you can enforce policies that keep your data safe. When people are working from home, most businesses are forced to sacrifice control over every piece of software and configuration.

End-user responsibility
Letting people work remotely is a huge act of trust – and we don’t just mean trusting people to leave the daytime TV switched off. With greatly reduced visibility, the burden of best practice and staying secure is on your users. In reality, though, this is an extension of something that’s already true: your people are either your weakest point or your best defence.

Work-life crossover
When people are working from home, their personal and business IT often becomes intertwined. Even if you can stretch your budget to equip everyone with a laptop, there’s less oversight to weed out personal browsing and additional software. This increases the likelihood of landing on dangerous websites or opening malware-laden attachments.

Endless distractions
From bored kids to pets, our homes are full of distractions. While research shows that these don’t dramatically affect productivity, they do steal attention away from security. As a result, it’s easier than ever to click a malicious link or open a suspicious file.

Vendors selected for the way people really work

Across our vendor portfolio, we bring together technologies that help people work – not ask people to work in limited ways. They include three that are particularly valuable for a remote workforce.

And for absolute peace of mind, Bromium puts every email, browser tab and file in its own secure container – so your users can click with confidence.

To protect the endpoints that are outside your own network, Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys secured data in storage and transit alike.

To improve end-user awareness and encourage best practice, usecure provides digestible security training that truly impacts behaviour.

Together, they create a layered stack to keep your people – and your business – secure. Wherever they need to work.

Keep an eye out for part two of our blog series coming next week…

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