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The Mobile Workforce and Security

mobile workforce

With today’s constantly growing technology, everyone is accessible at any given moment. While technology gives our social lives mobility, it also provides an outlet for mobile work. It’s forecasted that mobile workers will make up nearly 75 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020. Yet 20 percent of employees say their companies’ files are still difficult to access from mobile devices. How can we ease this burden? Experts say the cloud is a perfect way to store and collaborate on important files.

What about security? Isn’t the cloud a more risky environment for confidential information? Not necessarily.

Security in the Cloud

Solutions with online viewing and editing capabilities allow for anywhere-access, as well as enhanced security, by eliminating download-associated vulnerabilities. In Accusoft’s recent survey of over 100 IT managers and 250 full-time employees, results showed that 59 percent of employees open work-related documents on mobile devices. The results also showed that 43 percent of IT managers agree that downloading an infected file (using mobile or otherwise) is the greatest security risk to a company.

So how can the cloud help? How is it secure? According to a Cloud Security Report by Alert Logic, “Web application-based attacks hit both service provider environments (53% of organizations) and on-premises environments (44%). However, on-premises environment users or customers actually suffer more incidents than those of service provider environments. On-premises environment users experience an average of 61.4 attacks, while service provider environment customers averaged only 27.8. On-premises environment users also suffered significantly more brute force attacks compared to their counterparts.”

The Difference Between the Cloud and Traditional Computing

When developers create a cloud-based platform that enables access to important company documents, employees are able to work remotely. Whether traveling for business or catching up on projects from home, mobility in the workforce is becoming more essential than ever before.

With traditional computing, companies enable firewalls surrounding their file management tool. Often times, important documents are saved solely on the server. To gain access to the server, employees must have a special key when they are not on the premises and ensure they are connected to a trustworthy internet connection.

TechTarget suggests that the biggest difference between cloud-based platforms and traditional enterprise computing is that cloud-based platforms typically focus more on security and governance than the systems that are built to exist within firewalls.

When creating an effective cloud-based platform, it’s important to search for vulnerabilities. How do employees access important documents and data? Without this knowledge and proper planning, cloud-based platforms are risky. It’s important to test the system before deploying to understand how information is accessed by your employees and cover up any areas where there could be vulnerabilities.

Document Management and the Cloud

How does this stack up when it comes to organizing and sorting your files? According to the Accusoft data study, 74 percent of IT managers report that their firms have a formalized document management solution, but only 49 percent of their employees believed the resources were available. What does that say about the security of traditional computing? Are employees following the current guidelines of document security as advised by IT?

There are a variety of services that allow you to manage your documents digitally from the cloud … or you can develop your own! Whichever you decide, make sure that all of your employees know how to use the software to access company files in a safe way. Educate them on your document management policy and make sure each employee knows the rules and regulations regarding cloud use and its security.

For more information on document management and mobile work, read the full Accusoft data study, Closing the Document Management Awareness Gap.