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Keeping data on your network: The pitfalls of working remotely

Can you keep data safe while on the go? You know your company network is a safe storage option. So why isn’t your data in there?

When was the last time you went a week without reading about a new data breach? It has become an almost daily occurrence in the media and has brought compliance and regulation to the forefront of many modern businesses.

A good way to guarantee critical business data remains secure and accessible is to ensure it is stored on the company network - but changes in the way we work mean that very little business data is now being kept on the network.

As more employees at SMEs start to work remotely - either at home or on the go - so too is the business’s data being stored in a wide range of places such as inboxes, phones, tablets, PCs and laptops. When data is kept in these places as opposed to the company network, some major problems are set to arise…

IP at risk

It is now normal for an organisation’s intellectual property (IP) to be worth far more than physical property. Criminals are now more likely to steal card data than carry out a bank robbery, for example.

Yet despite this, companies still tend to store this critical IP in the cloud - and while some cloud storage providers can offer good levels of storage, it is still very likely that a breach will occur.

A lack of backup

Storing your data on the company network means it is kept in a safe and reliable data centre. However, if data is stored on a laptop or an email attachment, it can easily be deleted and is not backed up - meaning that the data can certainly be lost.

Are you compliant?

Nowadays it is common that companies are required to track data access by law which can be done by use of a corporate data centre. However, if the data is not stored on the network, compliance is impossible - your organisation will never be compliant if its data is stored on an employee’s own iPad.

Loss of devices

Imagine a colleague loses an iPhone on the way to an important meeting, having downloaded a highly confidential presentation onto the device to read beforehand.

Some security-savvy employees may have installed remote wipe software or encrypted their devices for scenarios such as this - however, although this may reduce the chances of confidential information being seen by the wrong person, it fundamentally won’t get the data back to the organisation.

I’m not here to tell you mobility is a bad thing - quite the opposite. Employees can work much more effectively and from wherever is convenient. However, what is becoming clear is that whatever size the organisation, it is data that is most valuable nowadays, not a company’s physical items.

This means it is vital to ensure your data gets onto the network, no matter what device you are using.