While more companies are offering employees the option to work remotely, this comes with the increased risk of outsiders accessing confidential information
Over half of British businesses is now allowing flexible working. But while it certainly enables more employees to achieve a great work-life balance, remote workers also present companies with new cybersecurity challenges. And with the new General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect in 2018, privacy and security must be a key business focus over the foreseeable future.
According to recent research, there are around 1.5 million people working remotely in the UK. Data security is becoming more difficult to manage as the digital society grows. And in the aftermath of the WannaCry cyber attack and tech giants like Yahoo having been breached by outsiders, business leaders cannot afford to ignore the risk of security breaches — like fraud and misappropriation of confidential information. Especially if they offer flexible working.
These privacy issues were highlighted in a recent survey by Fellowes, the office-product specialists. Having surveyed 1,000 office workers, the company found that over 40% of the employees had viewed printed confidential documents. Another concern is the growth of shoulder surfing, with one in three workers having read private emails directly from a colleague’s screen. The research also warned that remote workers — like people working in restaurants, cafes and on public transport — are more susceptible to data breaches than colleagues working in the office.
Fortunately, Fellowes also identified five tips that can help remote workers protect their privacy whilst working on the go.
Firstly, make sure to hide your screen and keep data safe from prying eyes. For instance, a blackout privacy filter can stop the wrong people from accessing confidential information.
Secondly, ensure you don’t leave anything behind and check you have all your documents with you before leaving public places.
Thirdly, hide sensitive information and documents in a folder or storage box to keep it safe.
Additionally, once you’ve finished with a document make sure to shred and destroy any sensitive documents you don’t need using a paper shredder. Don’t throw confidential information in the bin without shredding first.
Finally, don’t leave your work devices unattended when working remotely.
While the risk of cybersecurity breaches may be on the rise, making sure your remote workers follow these tips will help minimise the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.
This article comes curtesy of Fellowes, the office-product specialists.