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Key working from home risks to consider

Overhead view of computer screen and speakers and office stationery

Working from home was somewhat of a novelty in the pre-pandemic years, only fully becoming commonplace as a direct result of the pandemic itself. Hybrid and remote work schedules, while optional for many organisations in the UK, have become the norm for millions, bringing about many benefits but also many risks worthy of consideration. Below are some of the key risks that organisations must consider for remote workers:

GDPR Compliance and working from home risks

It is imperative that any individual working within an organisation adhere to GDPR UK (or the similar legacy compliance in the EU, the GDPR) whenever personally identifiable information is collected, stored, or shared within an organisation.

Data privacy is seen as a right in the UK and in the EU under their GDPR as well. Organisations must exercise full due diligence to preserve data privacy, which also means minimising any threats to data security from within the organisation or from without.

The maximum standard penalty is £8.7 million or 2 per cent of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is higher, so the financial risks are potentially crippling to an organisation that fails to comply.

Remote workers may have a higher risk of non-compliance due to using unapproved devices for work, an unencrypted network, or from having personally identifiable information written down at home that can be used to create a data breach.

Unauthorised Access & Compromised Credentials

Another major risk that can happen in traditional offices or in remote work settings is having employee credentials compromised. Unauthorised access to network drives and files from malicious third parties can exploit the sensitive data held on the network and lead to a costly data breach.

For remote workers, it is extremely important that they are provided with secure and robust login credentials and strong passwords, including 2-factor authentication and other more secure methods of accessing corporate assets and networks.

Home Devices & Network Connection

While working from home has many comforts, many employees have also been using personal PCs and laptops to get work tasks done. Organisations should endeavour to provide each and every remote worker with corporate-approved devices that are only to be used for working whilst personal devices should only be used for private tasks.

From an IT perspective, employees using personal devices to complete work tasks opens up many risk vectors from bad actors, including security vulnerabilities and the near-impossibility of containing any data breaches should they occur since the compromised device could be a personal laptop not affiliated with the organisation at all.

Remote Device Logistics & Asset Disposal

One of the biggest risks of remote work comes from the logistics and asset disposal of faulty, retired, or otherwise redundant IT assets. In a traditional office, IT teams can keep fairly accurate inventories of all workstations and devices used within the office, but when employees are spread across towns, cities, or even working internationally, keeping an up-to-date inventory can be a real challenge.

When employees’ laptops or other devices reach the end of their usable lifespan, it is important to have a secure logistics strategy in place to collect and redeploy assets, as well as secure data destruction methods. This often requires outsourcing to a secure and reputable IT asset disposition (ITAD) company.

Risk Wizard UK

Mitigate working from home risks within your organisation with cloud-based solutions from Risk Wizard UK.


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