Blog / The Risks of Working From Home
Just a few things to consider if you run a work-from-home program
Just a couple years ago most employers wouldn’t even think of letting most of their employees work from home; it was a privilege reserved for management and other elites not because of complexity but because of licenses. Software developers understand remote connection are not hard to establish and there’s nothing that can really be done to prevent it. As a result, some developers developed a solution so simple it’s borderline genius: they charged for the work-from-home privilege.
Clearly spending money so employees can work remotely wasn’t a great selling point. Management also needed to adjust their styles and adapt to the idea that employees may not be just down the hall anymore.
Then along came COVID and no one really had a choice in the matter anymore.
The problem is that in order to ensure plenty of users can connect remotely, you need to invest in the technology. In simpler terms, it’s one of those problems that can only be solved by throwing money at it. You need enough licenses, enough bandwidth, an acceptable use policy that includes work from home rules, and more. There are plenty of other questions that need to be addressed for working from home to work well, but there’s a major question that still needs to be answered:
Do you allow employees working from home to connect remotely using personal devices?
Now this might seem like a simple yes-or-no question, but it’s not quite that simple. If your answer is “no” then you need to provide equipment for employees to use. That means new laptops, routers, or other hardware they may need to connect, as well as all the configuration and setup time. Clearly this is a costly decision.
Unfortunately, if your answer is “yes” then you’ve got another set of problems and these ones are important enough to warrant their own bulleted list. Allowing employees to connect with personal devices is a serious security risk because:
- Your organization will need to support whatever hardware or software your employees use at home.
- Not everyone is diligent with up dates and critical software patches on their personal computers.
- You have no control over what other applications employees install.
For the most part, allowing employees to connect from home is tolerable, but allowing them to do it with their own devices is a serious no-no. Depending on the information you keep and type of business you’re involved in will affect the seriousness of the situation as well. For example, if your organization is subject to PIPA, it’s not just a bad idea but illegal as well.
Anyway you look at it, allowing employees to continue to work from home now that the urgency of the pandemic has passed remains both a risk and potential expense as well. The pandemic may have demonstrated that working-from-home is possible, but it still needs to be done properly. Be careful about authorizing personal devices for employees working from home as you often have no idea or control over what an employee does with their personal equipment on their own time.
I’ll pull a quote from Henry IV: Part 1 for this week’s bit of Shakespearean wisdom, “Out of this nettle—danger—we pluck this flower—safety”
If you’d like help reconfiguring your work-from-home program now that the pandemic has waned, please contact your TRINUS account manager for some stress-free IT today.
Courtesy your friendly neighbourhood cyber-man