Five Ways to Ensure Remote Workers Are Sharing and Accessing Files Securely

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Prohibit insecure file sharing and mobile access methods

As an extension of the overarching security policy, IT needs to take a firm stance and block the common insecure methods that employees use to store, share, and manage company files when working remotely. Consumer applications, including Gmail and Dropbox, often fall outside of regulation requirements, and put data at risk of being stolen or accessed. The same is true when employees copy data onto their mobile devices. However, simply blocking risky practices does not go far enough. IT teams need to provide secure alternatives for mobile access and file sharing.

Security is a hot button issue for businesses of all sizes and across every industry. IT administrators are attempting to plug leaks, update systems, and plan ahead for new threats – hackers, viruses, and even the NSA make the short list of priorities. Unfortunately, this often leads IT to overlook possible threats posed by internal forces, especially those caused by accidental incidents, particularly related to securing and sharing data outside the business' network.

The number of remote workers in the U.S. increased by more than 80 percent from 2005 to 2012, and it's predicted that the number of telecommuters will increase to 3.9 million by 2016, a 21 percent jump from the current level, according to Global Workplace Analytics. A second study by Globalscape found that more than 60 percent of employees knowingly take home confidential data, storing it on insecure devices and accounts – 75 percent believing IT approves of their behavior.

The increase in organizations encouraging or offering telecommuting programs demonstrates a strong, immediate need for secure remote access and file-sharing strategies for the enterprise. Here are five ways businesses can implement and support a secure remote work force, as identified by James Bindseil, president and CEO of GlobalSCAPE, Inc.


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