Why remote support is more crucial than ever

It appears working from home has finally reached the tipping point, with three-quarters of employees saying that’s where they feel most productive. But is this really a secure option? 

FlexJobs surveyed 500 employees about their work preferences and found that 76% of respondents said they avoid regular office hours when they need to get work done.

The reasons are pretty persuasive as well. Users said that working outside the office allows for fewer interruptions from colleagues (76%), fewer distractions (74%), minimal office politics (71%), reduced stress from commuting (68%) and a more comfortable office environment (65%).

Yet only 50% of those opted to work from home. Another 14% preferred to put time in the office when no one was around, and 12% said they like to work from other locations: coffee shops, co-working spaces, etc.

That last group is perhaps the most troubling. There are a variety of attacks that prey on users who log on to malicious WiFi networks in so-called Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks.

IT’s role

These days, even if users are outside of the office, they’re usually not beyond the reach of IT’s security. But mobile and off-site users can still pose a significant challenge to support and keep safe.

Since the preference for working off-site isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, here are some steps you should make sure you’re taking in order to assist users outside of the office:

  • Go beyond MDM. Mobile device management is a great tool for securing phones and other mobile devices (it’s in the name, after all). But make sure these same tools or similar ones also cover users’ primary machines when they’re off-site.
  • Require VPNs. Virtual private networks can help guard against some of the tricky attacks using malicious WiFi networks. Requiring these to access critical apps or services is a good step toward greater overall security.
  • Emphasize policies. Transferring work data safely must be a requirement for working from home or off-site. Make sure employees know that using personal equipment to do work is not a valid reason for emailing it to themselves from a personal email account or storing it on a personal cloud account.

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