Information security risk of remote work

Today, fast Internet connections and smooth communication tools make remote work not only possible but also very effective. What about Information Security in this day and age where work is done in public transport, in cafeterias and restaurants, at co-working hubs or where ever, when ever? Lack of Information Security is one of the risks of multiple working spots and home offices – here are some things to consider for better working security.

Don’t show your stuff around

When working in public, whether it’s on a train, plane or at a restaurant, literally anyone could sit next to you, behind you or walk past you. Especially well-known companies are easy to recognize even from a glance at a screen. Screen protector with a privacy filter is an easy fix to this problem, together with finding a private spot of course. For your own and for your company’s best, don’t finalize your most critical presentation in public – leave that to the office. Remember that good IT security and precautions do not guarantee protection from sideway glances or peaks at your papers laying around on your cafeteria table.

Mind your mouth in public

It’s pretty awkward to listen to people talk their private stuff in public. Sometimes it makes for a good comedy show too. When it comes to business and sensitive or private work matters though, this simple mistake could become costly. You don’t know if for example someone who is working for the competitor is listening. That someone will gladly take advantage of your ideas, and any hints about your next moves will be pretty welcome too! Business world is small, even on a global scale. We use the same hotspots, transport and hotels; so do mind your mouth.

Don’t talk about your co-workers, bosses or about your customers’ critical information on the phone or with your colleagues in public, not even when you are abroad. It’s a small world, after all.

Dangers of public networks

 VPN or not? Virtual Private Network on a laptop or mobile device hides the location of the device as well as of the Internet connection. VPN services are sometimes used for other agendas too; for example to hide the location in order to watch location restricted material online. Not all VPN providers are reliable. Always choose a well-known provider and use the service within the given terms and conditions.

Remember that VPN does not work as virus protection. You will need a separate virus protection program to do that job for you.

Are you an important expert?

If you or the organization you represent is interesting enough it might interest hackers too. Not even Google is safe from hackers.

Checking trash bins is probably the easiest way into sensitive information, yet this is often overlooked. As an expert, your information security, your policies (including trash bin emptying and getting rid of information) and the devices and programmes you use all need to be up-to-date, secured and safe.


Tiina Kuningas
Project Manager

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