Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Be safe in your home office - survey

The perennial question of security is raised by a new survey for Cisco by InsightExpress. Writing on, Tom Young reports that more than half (55 per cent) of respondents believe homeworking staff are becoming less diligent about security awareness, 11 per cent higher than last year. John Stewart, chief security officer at Cisco, is quoted as saying: "The blurring of the lines between work and home, and between business lives and personal lives, presents a growing challenge for businesses seeking to capitalise on the productivity benefits of the remote workforce." Globally, 12 per cent of remote workers admitted to accessing a neighbour's wireless connection. And in the UK the percentage nearly doubled from 6 per cent to 11 per cent. Personally, I find these figures very hard to believe: I don't know any homeworkers who piggyback on other people's connections.


  1. Anonymous1:13 PM

    These findings are absolutely right on. In almost 20 years spent working from home, I've always found that the increasing access the family (and now, others with wireless access in the neighborhood) has to the PC and network presents a constant 'potential' threat. I say 'potential,' because security measures exist - if only people used them. Like data encryption, using network keys, or simply installing a wired Ethernet or powerline or phone line enabled network. Moreover, people have to STOP carrying data home or on the road ON their laptops, and instead load it to a flash drive or other portable media. What's in that laptop attache is always a compelling target for thieves. But they have no way of knowing what's in your shirt, jacket or pants pocket. But companies who complain without educating their staffs have only themselves to blame. If you enable home officing and telework without first warning of the threats and having employees sign agreements outlining specific security protocols - and something goes wrong, don't blame the employee.

  2. Jeff, I agree with you that this is an important topic and one homeworkers (and employers) should be aware of. But I'd be interested to know how many incidents of homeworkers' networks/laptops being illegally access have actually been logged. I think there's a lot of scaremongering about this issue which rather than highlighting it as something to be addressed is instead used by those who don't like the idea of homeworking for whatever reason not to go down this route.