Work from home has become an increasingly popular option for employees. With personal electronic equipment improving in quality and becoming more available than ever, remote working is easier than ever before. Experts predict that over one-quarter of all professional jobs in North America will be fully remote by the end of 2022.
While work-from-home (WFH) models offer many advantages to both organizations and employees, security risks are an even greater concern in remote working environments. Effectively securing employees’ WFH equipment is vital to protecting your company from data theft and other online threats.
While the idea of working from home is nothing new, acceptance of remote work was uncommon until the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when less than 4% of employees worked remotely. The pandemic reshaped the modern workplace, and many of the changes implemented are here to stay. This is especially true for the prevalence of WFH, with over 80% of workers and 85% of managers expecting companies to continue supporting remote working over time. Aside from the convenience and productivity benefits of working from home, remote support is becoming a cornerstone of employee retention, with 74% of employees saying that the option for remote work makes them less likely to leave their jobs.
While remote work has been mostly relegated to office jobs, there are increasing efforts being made to accommodate hybrid or fully remote working in traditionally hands-on industries. Technology like remote-controlled robotics and virtual reality capability are beginning to let people perform some physical tasks from miles away. While remote labor will never fully replace in-person work, these moves are part of the growing movement away from traditional workplaces.
One thing that’s still somewhat uncertain is whether or not companies are required to provide their remote employees with equipment like phones and computers. While 90% of remote workers have a dedicated workstation in their home, only 55% paid for everything themselves. Of those who got some sort of support from their employers, 27% received partial assistance, and a further 18% were reimbursed for their workspace purchases in full.
When it comes to equipment procurement for remote employees, companies have to choose between providing all necessary equipment, issuing just a computer or phone, offering a set stipend for equipment purchases, or instituting a full Bring-Your-Own-Device policy. While the last of these options may seem to incur the least expense to employers, research has shown that productivity is 140% more likely to suffer without a dedicated workstation. Allowing employees to bring their own devices also poses the greatest potential threat to security. Providing IT staples like computers gives organizations more direct control of the security protocols and software that employees use.
In order to mitigate the security risks associated with working from home, employers have to carefully consider their equipment and policies. There are a number of ways to ensure data security while supporting hybrid and remote work.
Whether employees are using company-provided computers or their own setup, one of the most important security steps is ensuring that everyone uses the right protection programs. Rather than monitoring each employee’s personal choice, providing a subscription to a system chosen by your IT team ensures that companies know how their data is being secured. Likewise, it takes the burden of selecting and paying for software off of the employees while costing the company a fraction of what similar protection would have cost if purchased individually.
The human element is the single most impactful element of any security system. Passwords, encryption, and network security are only as strong as the people who use them. Providing remote employees with information security training specific to their work environment ensures that your other systems are able to perform their intended functions.
One of the most often-overlooked areas of data security is the disposal of broken or outdated hardware. Discarded hard drives can be a wealth of information for outsiders when not wiped or disposed of properly. IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is the practice of safely and securely destroying, recycling, or repurposing technology assets. While skilled IT professionals may be able to wipe unused hard drives, overall ITAD strategy plays a vital role in information security best practices.
Safely and legally disposing of computer equipment is easier said than done. Unlike other waste, which can be easily thrown out or recycled, computers and e-scrap require specialized knowledge and facilities to handle. Choosing a recycling partner can not only keep your information secure throughout the disposal process, but it can also reduce costs by reusing or salvaging components to resell on the ITAD market.
Whether remote or on-location, when it comes time to securely dispose of electronic equipment, First America Metal Corporation (FAMCe) has you covered. We have been a world leader in electronics and metal scrap recycling and non-ferrous export for over 15 years. Our team has over 30 years of experience in reusing and recycling metal commodities, and we are known as one of the top five metal exporters in the entire Midwest.
FAMCe specializes in creating innovative, greener solutions for businesses or individuals who want transparent and environmentally-friendly methods of reusing and recycling electronic scrap, high-temperature alloys, and non-ferrous scrap. Our level of expertise, unparalleled customer service, and aggressive pricing make FAMCe the leading option for almost any recycling need.
Learn more and get in touch with us at famce.net.