The modern workplace is changing. Over 25% of employees now work exclusively or part–time from home. Globally, more than 70% of employees worked from home at least once per week. There is also a rise of contract-based employees, who now make up about 10-15% of the total workforce. All of these statistics highlight the ever-growing need for cloud faxing and fax server technology. Faxing and fax-bound email messaging has been proven to be more secure than standard email communication, which is why it is the preferred communication of heavily regulated industries like healthcare and finance.
Employees are working from home in record numbers and businesses need to support those employees by providing the necessary technology that helps them better service their customers. Simultaneously, telecommuting brings certain security and compliance concerns that can place companies at risk if they are not prepared to train their employees in the best fax security and compliance practices.
Using Unsecured or Public Wi-Fi
Fax servers can be accessed remotely using Wi-Fi connections anywhere and on many different devices. This grants employees the power to send, receive and view faxes from anywhere. However, employees must always be mindful of the Wi-Fi connection they are using to access secure or confidential information. If they are working from home on their own private network, make sure it is password protected and that the password is changed on a frequent basis. It’s also important to remember that just because a publicly available Wi-Fi is password protected doesn’t mean it is secure. Confidential information must only be accessed on secure, privately-owned networks.
Be Aware of Compliance Rules
Whether you are working under the guidelines of HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley, Basel II or any other regulatory compliance system, it’s important for telecommuting employees to understand the precise rules that govern where, when and by who information can be accessed. Before allowing employees to telecommute, it’s in every organization’s best interest to review these guidelines and provide training/guidance to employees so that they are fully prepared to take all steps necessary to avoid unintentional (and costly) compliance breaches.
Implement Good Password Practices
Strong passwords may be obvious to bring up, but it’s worth reiterating. The simple fact is that, despite employees knowing insecure passwords place them at risk, they still use them because they are easy to remember. It’s best for companies to design and release a mandate that requires passwords used to contain a strong mixture of letters, numbers, symbols, etc., and to ensure that all employees are complying with these guidelines.
Have a Plan for Emergencies
What happens if a telecommuting employee misplaces a device? What happens if a breach occurs? Do you have an emergency plan set up that can tackle issues as soon as they arise? If necessary, work with a consulting firm to help you design a plan that can be put into place the moment something happens. This will help you mitigate, if not outright avoid, unnecessary damage to your data or reputation.