IT Seen Distrusting Remote Workers
Telecommuters are a growing bunch. By the year 2011, the number of worldwide remote workers is expected to surpass 46 million, according to Gartner.
Businesses aren't complaining--remote workers help companies improve efficiency and competitive advantage. But some new data should give CIOs and their colleagues a moment of pause.
A new study conducted for Cisco by InsightExpress, released Tuesday, finds that a majority of IT departments think their telecommuters are becoming more lax in their online existence. And remote workers themselves say as much.
Why? For starters, 60 percent of U.S. telecommuters (and 56 percent worldwide) think the Internet became safer in 2007 than in the previous year. And that led to some relaxing of the usual Web-based vigilance. For example, staggeringly high numbers of telecommuters worldwide said they open emails and attachments from unknown senders and use corporate resources for personal play, like online shopping and social networking.
Cisco says IT departments need to go beyond tech tactics to influence security protocols and encourage more education, training and awareness of outside threats. Not a bad idea, since the number of remote workers will continue to grow rapidly--but maybe not as much as the growth of internal and external network threats.
(This is the second black eye for telecommuting this year: last month, a Reuters story highlighted how the existence of telecommuting leaves many office-bound employees unhappy.)
I'm interested to hear from the telecommuters out there. Do you feel like your security concerns have waned?
And what about the IT executives? Are your telecommuters spurring security problems for your company?