Flexible Security?

There are many benefits to having a flexible workforce, but also some risks.

By AnnMarie Kuzel
Hand of businessman on dark background with security glowing signThe flexible workforce has benefits for workers and employers, but it may pose a potential threat to an organization’s security, and learning leaders should take proper precautions. Companies that use public Wi-Fi might have to take extra security precautions before using independent contractors or permitting their employees to work remotely.

Patricia R. Hume, chief commercial officer for iPass Inc., a global mobile connectivity company that offers secure, always-on Wi-Fi access on any mobile device, said, “Traditional companies often hesitate to implement policies that involve working remotely due to data and privacy concerns, primarily associated with the use of public Wi-Fi and other sources not secured via VPN.”

According to a global iPass survey, 62 percent of enterprises don’t permit use of public Wi-Fi as a result of security measures. This is a significant concern that learning leaders must consider before permitting remote workers to access learning resources via public Wi-Fi.

One solution is to use a network that is both secure and accessible from distant locations. Hume said iPass offers secure global connectivity that allows workers to choose where and when they work while eliminating an employer’s fear of a security breach. Of course, employers have other options to maintain security, such as using a virtual private network, installing software protection and content filtering on laptops, or using a third-party VPN service.

So, before an employer decides to meet their employees’ desire to work remotely, they should take precautions to ensure their organization’s security does not become an unwilling sacrifice. Workers may want more flexibility, but an organization’s desire for and insistence on security should remain inflexible.

AnnMarie Kuzel is a former Chief Learning Officer editorial intern. Comment below, or email editor@CLOmedia.com.

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