The Importance of Data Protection and Personal Data Security on Corporate Digital Devices
While the many digital devices which we use for work have increased productivity and efficiency, data protection and personal data security are constantly at risk.
That technology has allowed so many people to work from home has been one of the saving graces of the pandemic. Imagine if Covid-19 had struck twenty years ago, most likely the global economy would have suffered a much worse outcome as people, forced to stay at home, would not have been able to work.
The digitisation of our working lives has made us extraordinarily productive, even during a global pandemic. Yet this very digitisation has also made us extremely vulnerable when it comes to data protection and personal data security.
For many organisations that have embraced, in particular, cloud technology, there has been a seamless transition from working in an office to working remotely. And taking into consideration the dramatic fall in the price of digital devices – from phones to laptops to tablets – there are multiple ways for employees to engage with their clients and colleagues.
While working remotely has shown that people can be as productive – if not more so – than in the office, our homes are fundamentally different.
Take security, for example. Your average office has multiple levels of security before anybody can get to a device: reception desks, swipe cards, 24/7 security guards, not to mention how certain devices can be physically secured to desks with padlocks and security wires.
These layers of security are deemed necessary in an office, yet obviously impossible to replicate in a person’s home.
A theft of any business device has two potential consequences. Firstly, there’s the cost of the asset. And secondly, there’s the cost of the data breach that might occur. Yet despite the digitisation of our lives and the advantages of the cloud, we shouldn’t forget that ultimately, you have to secure a physical object first and foremost.
While the activities of cyber criminals are at the forefront of data theft and online criminality and causing much harm to large organisations, under GDPR any data breach in any organisation is a serious issue due to the nature of the fines. Within the EU, you will be fined a percentage of your turnover. Therefore, keeping track and securing an organisation’s assets is vital.
IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Strategy
The changes in the way we work have reiterated the importance of a robust IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) strategy. As colleagues no longer have to go to a secure office to work, steps must be taken to ensure the maximum security of their devices in their remote work setting.
For example, it’s important to have an IT Asset Register which corresponds to the actual number of IT assets which have been deployed to the workforce. Furthermore, the IT Asset Register should be kept up to date, not by ‘network crawlers’ but by a physical inspection where the condition of the asset and its value is noted.
IT Assets must be encrypted in case they are lost or stolen and policies must be in place governing the use of such items, for example, the importance of a safe working environment, being aware of on-screen data visible to others, and always locking the screen when leaving the room – even in your house.
IT Assets that are lost or stolen need to be reported immediately and steps must be taken to try to instigate a remote memory wipe.
Wisetek’s Remote IT Service
As remote working has become a long-term reality for many people, the cost for companies to service their staff across a wide geographical area has become noticeable. While there are gains from people working from home, there are costs too.
Wisetek’s Remote IT service is designed to lower the costs and increase the efficiency of servicing a remote workforce. Over time, the nature of a remote workforce will change – there is a natural turnover of staff and if they are working on company devices, then such assets will need to be collected, the data securely wiped, the value of the IT asset ascertained, and then for the device to be put back into service.
Wisetek’s Remote IT Service is a cost-effective way of safeguarding company IT assets which employees are using in their remote workplaces by taking the burden of responsibility of IT, HR, and Finance departments.
The failure to properly manage remote IT assets can lead to ex-employees still in possession of company devices which might constitute a data breach in itself. Therefore, once an employee is transitioning from your organisation, it’s vital to ensure that their devices are collected immediately, and securely processed.
Remote working is with us for the long term. How a company manages their business devices being used by their remote workforce has become a new, vital process to further secure your organisation against possible security breaches.