Weak Security for Remote Workers Cause for Concern

By Jeff Goldman | Posted December 07, 2009

Do your remote workers have the proper security measures installed on their laptops and smartphones to keep your business safe? Even if you don’t have employees who work from home now, you should still have a telecommuting plan — and the security measures to back it up — in the event a natural disaster keeps them from getting to the office. ESecurityPlanet.com looks at the latest report from Cisco on the state of remote-worker security and disaster readiness.


Cisco recently announced the results of its nationwide Securing the Mobile Workforce survey, which finds that while organizations are increasingly using laptops, smartphones, and VPNs to increase employee productivity, they remain unprepared to allow their employees to telework effectively in the case of a natural disaster or other disruption.

The survey, which was commissioned by Cisco and conducted by InsightExpress, was based on interviews with 502 IT decision-makers, from U.S. businesses of all sizes (from 20 employees to more than 10,000) and across five key verticals: health care, retail, finance, government, and education.

Fred Kost, Cisco’s director of security solutions marketing, says the objective of the survey was simple. “With more and more mobile devices coming into enterprises, and that really changing the workspace, we just wanted to try and understand…what people are doing to enable a remote workforce,” he says.

Among the findings, Kost says, one thing that jumped out was the fact that only 15 percent of respondents named security concerns as a key issue preventing them from further enabling remote workers--38 percent simply said their business requirements don’t necessitate it.

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