• Risk Wizard Team

Challenges of Remote IT Infrastructure: 5 Risks to Consider

Since the start of 2020, the world has changed dramatically in many ways. One such change that perhaps isn’t too controversial, and in fact has been largely welcomed, is the shift from working in a traditional office to remote work.

For employees, the freedom from the morning and evening commute, the comforts that come along with working from home, and the ability to spend more time with your furry four-legged friends whilst working all sounds well and good, but it does come with some downsides from the organisation’s perspective.

One of the greatest challenges to organisations with the massive shift to remote work has been maintaining a strong and robust IT network with minimal vulnerabilities and risks now that workers are spread all across the city or even across the country (and in some cases, working from abroad!).

Below are five risks IT teams and risk management experts should consider vis-a-vis the shift to remote work:

1 IT Asset Redeployment

In the good ol’ days, most IT assets were simply located within the office. Transferring an employee’s PC or a tablet from one employee to another was simple, safe, and a few footsteps away perhaps.

Now, the cost of collecting and redeploying hundreds or thousands of devices from private employee addresses across large geographic areas must certainly be factored into the cost. Moreover, the logistics process must be secure so as not to have devices and the data therein fall into the wrong hands.

2 Network Access Challenges

With employees working from home, how are they accessing your organisation’s IT network? Simply connecting over their home internet plan may be good enough, but it might not. Network vulnerabilities open up which can expose your organisation to massive, costly data breaches, so secure encryption and VPNs are seen as essentials.

Make sure your employees have these tools and that they are using them appropriately to connect securely to the network.

3 Devices vs Corporate Devices

Many Britons now working from home have begun building their own high-end gaming PCs to pass leisure time at home and to get work done more efficiently. Please ensure that employees within the organisation are not using personal devices to perform work duties, since the possibility for IT vulnerabilities can become manifest.

Develop a protocol whereby employees are only using work devices for work duties. It helps if they realise the risks associated with using non-corporate IT assets when dealing with sensitive data.

4 Secure IT Asset Disposal

When employees are working from home and their IT asset reaches its end-of-life (EoL), how is it disposed of? You should never simply throw it into the rubbish, and when dealing with company-owned assets that may contain sensitive data that should never fall into the wrong hands, the device needs to be destroyed securely and thoroughly.

IT asset disposition (ITAD) companies provide robust, secure services to assist with this endeavour.

5 Data Security Compliance (GDPR UK)

Everyone working in the UK in 2018 surely recalls the EU’s GDPR coming into effect and the repercussions it has had on how data privacy and data security matter more than ever.

Employees now working from home may possibly be engaging in activities that do not sufficiently protect sensitive data, so develop an adapted GDPR workplace policy that takes into account the shift to remote work.

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