Tom NewtonWith swine flu cases set to rise to 100,000 a day by August, many businesses are taking a fresh look at their remote working capabilities. It is now critical for organizations to ensure that laptop users can access the Internet securely and effectively – regardless of their location.
With malicious sites multiplying in their millions, web security is a serious issue. Until recently, ‘drive-by’ downloaders and other dangerous malware typically came from sites offering free, adult or illegal content. Now the potential for infection exists across all sites, with cybercriminals specifically targeting topical or popular pages. Worse still, these new and cleverer web nasties no longer need gullible users to let them in – since simply landing on a compromised site is often enough to initiate a download. With unfiltered connections, remote workers are much more likely to pick up these sophisticated strains of spyware and malware, which then worm their way onto networks the instant laptops log back on.
For many company bosses, productivity is also a pressing concern. According to a recent survey by YouGov, only 8% of employers actually trust their employees to work out of the office*. Cyberskiving is also on the rise, with a third of workers now admitting to wasting more than 2 hours a day on the web**. Although the internet is an integral facilitator for home working, even the most trusting of employers can no longer afford to ignore the productivity-related risks of providing unrestricted access.
SmoothWall’s Product Manager Tom Newton said: “With mounting concerns about productivity, security and compliance, employers can no longer afford to let the activities of remote workers go unchecked. Web filtering and acceptable use policies should be consistently applied to all users – particularly remote ones, since they often represent a greater threat than staff working within the safety of the secure company network.”