Security a major issue as remote working grows

According to new research commissioned by global data storage and information security company Imation Corp, remote working is increasing in popularity, but so are concerns regarding data leakage.

The survey of 500 IT decision makers in the UK and Germany conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Imation’s IronKey, discovered that as many as 96 per cent of organisations participating in their survey say that they permit remote/mobile working. Furthermore, 98 per cent of those that permit remote working are stating that they believe it is advantageous to their organisation.

A further breakdown of the data compiled from the survey found around three in five organisations believed that remote working has increased employee motivation due to greater flexibility (62 per cent), and led to increased productivity as employees can work from multiple locations, home or client sites (61 per cent).

However, it is not all good news, as security data breaches and business costs are amongst the biggest concerns for organisations when weighing up the value of remote working. Indeed, 92 per cent of organisations highlighted the security challenges that remote working causes.

A third of organisations surveyed stressed data security as the major concern when considering remote working practices. Just over half (54 per cent) were worried about data losses through misplaced devices, whilst 61 per cent fret about insider threats, and the potential for employees to expose the organisation to the risk of data leakage, through breach or loss.

However, despite the rise in popularity of remote working around 67 per cent of participants in the survey believe their employees are breaking the organisation’s security rules in order to work remotely. This is worrying when 54 per cent of respondents agreed that confidential and valuable company data, which employees routinely take out-with the organisation, could be secured better through IT security policy.

“It is important for companies to embrace mobile working, but managing the security of data on the move and ensuring there are policies in place to protect it, the employees, and the organisations who own it, should be a priority for anyone considering remote working,” said Nick Banks, vice president EMEA and APAC, IronKey.

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