How secure are telecommuters against breaches and critical losses in data?

how safe is it to telecommute

Since 2005, telecommuting has increased 80% in the U.S. according to GlobalWorkPlaceAnalytics.com. Employees love the flexible schedule, better balance of work and personal time, the reduced commute and carbon emissions, and cost savings. Employers love the larger pool of qualified talent, higher employee retention rates, higher productivity levels, and most importantly, the cost savings.

According to GlobalWorkPlaceAnalytics.com:

  • The average savings is $11,000 per employee per year!
  • 36% of people would choose telecommuting over a raise in pay.

With more companies, large and small, allowing employees to telecommute on a regular basis, the need for security against breaches, data loss, and viruses magnifies. Consider that:

  • Symantec, an internet security company, found that 60% of all cyber-attacks in 2014 targeted small and medium-sized businesses!
  • Staples Advantage found that 2 out of 3 telecommuters admitted they did not receive IT security training for telecommuting, and
  • 1 out of 3 admitted they do not back up data.

Technology makes it so easy for your employees to work from anywhere. Web-enabled ERP software and hosted/cloud-based ERP and CRM solutions allow telecommuting employees to connect to your company’s software while at home or traveling, but is your data safe? Here are some security measures you and your telecommuters can employ to keep your software, data, and customer info safe:

Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections encrypt sessions and messages through a secure internet tunnel. Consider investing in work laptops with pre-loaded client-based VPN’s, so only the computers you choose can access your company’s network.

Two Factor Authentication System combines traditional username/password or PIN authentication with real time password generation. Consider investing in USB Tokens, which plug into – you guessed it – USB drives, connect to the company’s VPN, and can even encrypt the computer’s content, store data, or display One Time Passwords (OTP) for secure network login. There are even biometric identification systems available if you need a third layer of security.

Desktop Virtualization software and Remote Desktop Software allow secure access to work servers or desktops from an authorized computer – of course, optimized by the security of a VPN and/or Two Factor Authentication system. Whether your telecommuters access your ERP solution through work servers (and the under the watchful eye of the IT department) or through their work desktops, they’ll be able to keep data up-to-date from anywhere.

Firewalls or Unified Threat Management (UTM) devices restrict access to specific servers and applications based on the user’s individual login credentials. Each telecommuter only sees the applications and files that she needs to accomplish her job. Also, remember to keep your Anti-virus and Anti-malware up-to-date to protect against security threats.

Are you considering a transition to telecommuting for cost savings and efficiency but don’t think that your ERP and CRM software is up to the task? Accounting Software Connections can help your business find the best accounting software solutions to streamline operations and prepare you for the telecommuting revolution.

Whether assisting business decision makers with accounting software solutions or with ideas to increase efficiencies in the workplace, ASC is your trusted advisor and guide in finding accounting software for your business. Visit us at www.accountingsoftwareconnections.com and see how we can help your business grow and prosper!

stacy