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    Winter-2016  


Working-At-Home Employees Pose IT Risks That Need To Be Addressed

Permitting employees to conduct business out-of-the-office or in their homes is becoming more common with an estimated 44 million doing it either full or part-time,

While accessing documents etc. from home makes an employee’s life much easier, it can also put the employer at risk by sending secure documents with sensitive information across the internet.

“The time to worry about your technology isn’t after it fails; keeping an up-to-date and protected system is crucial in running any successful business” says Dan Adams, CEO of New England Network Solutions, a company operating throughout the New England area.

Working with business of various sizes, (many of whom had employees working from home) Adams has seen his share of IT nightmares for various reasons that have left those companies helpless and desperate need of help and IT reform.

One of the biggest problems that he sees is companies underestimating their need for proper security systems. Here are his top five tips for employees and employers -- to ensure that their business’ documents are safe and secure:

  • Upgrade your firewall -- small businesses tend to use consumer grade firewalls to protect their documents, even though they really need something much more advanced in order to achieve the level of security that they want/need.
  • Anti-Virus/Spyware -- not all programs were created equal. If you use the newest version of the “Super-Anti-Kill-Them-All-Virus-Spyware” program that you found for free on Google, you are nowhere near the level of security that you really need.
  • Upgrade Your Back-up/Cloud System -- you originally got a backup system to prepare for the worst, right? But since that crash hasn’t come yet, you don’t really see the need to upgrade your hardware. Do it!...because when the time comes when you need those documents (and it probably will at some point)…you will be thankful you did.
  • No Direct Links Between Company Links and Personal Computers -- if your employees are working from home on a regular basis, they and you need to be sure there is no direct link to your company’s information from their personal computer. A personal computer system is much more vulnerable than that of a company. If the security of an employee’s computer is compromised, and they have their telecommuting password saved on their computer, there is nothing stopping the individual from getting to all of your company files!
  • Decide what things need to be sync’d, and what things don’t -- we have a habit of syncing everything together: our work computers, home computers, mobile devices, iPads etc. While it may seem like the “cool” thing to do, it also creates vulnerabilities that may not have existed before. Every new device that is sync’d leave’s another opportunity for your system to be compromised. You need to decide what is necessary, and where it’s necessary.

 Contact Adams at TJF@goodwinpr.com.

 


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