There’s no doubt that remote working is gaining in popularity. In 2009, Management Today reported that around 3.5 million people were working from home. Remote working can bring huge benefits to an organisation, in overhead reduction and productivity levels, but at what cost?

My company just conducted a survey of 250 companies across a variety of sectors, asking IT managers what their top priority was for the coming year – 59% said it was remote working.

Businesses cannot change the trend towards remote working, in fact they probably want to encourage it because of the benefits, but businesses that use remote workers must ensure that their IT department is prepared to put the required security measures in place. We’ve already produced a guide on how businesses can secure remote workers, which can be downloaded for free.

When we asked what the biggest security concern was for IT managers, 43% cited using social network apps as a major worry, (shockingly, 56% of IT managers questioned said that employees downloaded unapproved applications) and 36% were concerned about employees clicking on links send via social networks such as Twitter.

IT departments need to have a security policy which is flexible enough to change as and when new applications are approved for use, (see this free guide on application management for more details), so that businesses can keep up with the latest trends in communication, and employees can use these systems with security in mind.

Author profile: Simon Heron

Simon Heron is Internet Security Analyst at Network Box (UK) , a managed security company, where he is responsible for developing the overall business strategy and growth. Simon has more than 16 years experience in the IT industry, including eight years experience in Internet security. During this time he has developed and designed technologies ranging from firewalls, anti-virus, LANs and WANs. Prior to Network Box, Heron co-founded and was Technical Director of Cresco Technologies, a network design and simulation solution company with customers in the U.S., Europe and China. Before that he worked for Microsystems Engineering Ltd, as a Project Manager, where he implemented network security for the company.