Although teleworking can increase productivity by extending office resources to anywhere employees are, it’s important to enforce that employees are indeed working when they are not in the office. In a down economy, acquisition decisions weigh productivity statistics heavily. Despite the demand for mobility in the workforce, unsupervised employees can be easily distracted by personal business, such as e-mail, Web surfing and instant messaging.
To prevent lost productivity that can result from an increasingly mobile workforce, put policies in place and then enforce them through specified controls:
Establish a percentage of personal to business activities that remote workers should strive to achieve — 75 percent may be a good goal.
Standardize on a single platform and limit ability for use of that platform outside company boundaries. For example, you can place a gateway in the network to archive all conversations between employees.
Notify employees that IM conversations are monitored and that logs are stored for managerial review.
Require manager approval for external messaging access.
Use software controls to restrict employees to using a company-wide platform only, and turn on the monitoring function.
Collect usage stats and generate reports to support disciplinary action.
Keep in mind that even if you tell your employees you’re monitoring their usage, the reality is no one has time to actually go through all the logs. Send an e-mail to every manager with a link to a log file of instant message files for each of their reports. Suggest that managers review those links once a year.
Today’s successful businesses run at the speed of light, requiring employees and corporate assets to be available and accessible 24x7. Enterprises must find ways to allow rapid, flexible access while protecting themselves from serious risk. When employees travel with corporate data on laptops and other mobile devices, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage and control such data, or even know if it’s being protected, thereby creating a “mobile blind spot” that has the potential to wreak havoc on your corporate communications network.
Identifying key mobile blind spots and taking steps to protect data in transit is critical to protecting your business. This slideshow outlines five real-world tactics identified by Qwest that you can use to enhance mobile security in your organization. These tactics will help provide your workforce with the flexibility it needs to be productive anywhere, anytime, while protecting valuable corporate assets and the enterprise network against imminent security breaches and risk in an expanding mobile world.