According to the 2014 information security breaches survey, over ninety per cent of SMEs (ie small and medium-sized enterprises) in the UK allow their staff to connect remotely to their IT systems. Many others allow staff to work from home, even if they cannot connect, yet one in five still don’t protect remote devices used by employees.
Remote devices face greater risk of theft, malware infection and having data intercepted or copied. Interception techniques don’t require sophisticated electronics, while people who would never leave a computer logged in and unattended at work can be much less security-minded at home. The same can be true when connecting other people’s memory sticks.
Remote devices are easily portable, which makes them attractive to criminals. Most opportunist thieves are not interested in business information but they’re unlikely to erase it before selling your device on. Your business may suffer serious reputational damage as a result, which is why you need to encrypt data stored on remote devices.
Remote devices face greater risk of exposure to malware too, because it’s easier to connect to other people’s networks or media. Make sure your remote devices are protected and remain so.
To make infection more difficult, some manufacturers deliberately restrict connectivity and the applications that can be installed on their portable devices. You may want to make using only approved devices a company policy.