Is remote working secure for employers?

November 25, 2016

Does the place matter?

Unless there’s a security guard asking you to empty your pockets, leave your mobile phone at the reception, the place does not really matter.

Ask yourself these two simple questions:

  • do you really know what other people do in the office?

    If you’re a manager you’re probably have your own office and if even if you don’t you probably would not stare at someone’s monitor (they will minimize the window very quickly anyway ;) )
    Having your staff in the office gives you only an illusion of controlling their work..

  • do you really believe that filtering emails, chats, etc prevents people from sharing secrets?

    C’mon, everyone’s got a mobile phone with a camera, so taking a picture of confidential emails/documents is even easier when you’re in the office..

So, if you answered ‘no’ to all these questions you’ll probably agree that the place does not matter here.

The key to security

If the place is not the key factor to keep stuff secure, then what is the key?

It’s really the mindset. Even the best security policy, network protections or software will not protect your sensitive data if someone use one password to all online resources (and additionally written on a yellow sticky…)

Employers should invest more money in educating employees than in software for web content filtering.
Employees will care about your assets if they know how.

…what about bad guys who want to rob you?

I bet that most of the employees who steal data are not hackers, they are probably casual thieves who took their chance when got access to something (like users/players data) they could sell somewhere. That’s why it’s so important to check references and have skilled recruiters. It’s really hard to avoid it in general but I believe that the vast majority of people around us are honest and never did and never would do something stupid like stealing any data (or anything really).

People who are passionate about the work they do, put a lot of effort to become an expert in their domain. I think programmers belong to that group, so it’s safe to assume that programmers you hired are trustworthy :)

My home is my castle

Would you leave the door wide open to your apartment? Would you leave your laptop in the garden when you’ve gone shopping and there’s no one at home? Everyone naturally cares about his belongings, so when you let people work from home, your assets are protected like they would be their own.

How to work secure?

I intentionally didn’t put “remotely” after “work” in the question, as we should stay secure every where and every time time you open your laptop, read an email from an old friend or typing your password when your kids are staring at your keyboard ;).

This post is the very first from the series and next time I will explain tools and techniques that are particularly useful for remote workers.