Security Issues Limit Telecommuting

Want to work from home? Better beef up security first, CDW study says



Telecommuting has been one of business' "hot trends" for more than a decade now. So if it's so hot, why don't more employees do it? A new study suggests that security is the biggest stumbling block.

In a study released today by technology retail giant CDW Corp., researchers found that although support for telecommuting continues to grow, IT security concerns are holding it back.

The CDW survey shows that 76 percent of private-sector employers now provide technical support for remote workers, up 27 percent over 2007. Fifty-six percent of federal government agencies provide IT support for telecommuters. Since 2005, federal government's IT support for telecommuting has grown 23 percent, according to a year-over-year trend analysis of telework survey data.

But 27 percent of private-sector companies and 42 percent of government agencies say security is their top concern about telecommuting. Fifty-six percent of federal agencies and 74 percent of private-sector employers authenticate telecommuters separately from the remote computers they use, ensuring that they know not only what devices are accessing their networks, but also who is at the keyboard.

Nearly 70 percent of federal and private-sector employers are providing the computers and other equipment that telecommuters use, in an effort to improve security and control.

Despite those security protections, the survey uncovered a gap in awareness that could introduce security weaknesses: 21 percent of government employees and 31 percent of private-sector employees say they are not aware of their organization’s corporate security policies, potentially opening the door to behaviors that risk security breaches.

"More stringent IT security policies are dampening telework expansion in the Federal government," said Andy Lausch, senior director of federal sales for CDW-G.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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