An increasingly mobile-focused workforce may be putting many businesses in danger of data breaches, as employees often do not take adequate security precautions when they are out of the office.
This is according to a new study by document disposal service Shred-It, which noted that with the number of mobile working set to reach 102 million in the US alone by 2020, businesses will have to take steps to ensure they retain control of their most sensitive data.
It added this is not a trend that's restricted to larger enterprises, as almost six out of ten small business owners (58 per cent) also reported allowing their employees to work remotely.
But despite this, only 31 per cent of C-Suite executives and 32 per cent of small business owners said they have an information security policy for both off-site work environments and flexible working areas in place.
Andrew Lenardon, global director at Shred-it, commented: "Without ongoing training and comprehensive policies for remote and flexible workplaces, businesses are at risk. Although employees want increased flexibility and the ability to work remotely, business leaders must ensure that the right information security and training protocols are in-place to protect confidential customer and business data."
Therefore, the company highlighted several key recommendations that businesses need to keep in mind in order to reduce the risk of a data breach that occurs as a result of mobile working.
For instance, it stressed the importance of ensuring any information held on a laptop, tablet or smartphone is encrypted, and strong passwords are in place, in case the device is lost or stolen.
It also suggested limiting the type of data that remote workers can access when they are outside the office, and scheduling ongoing training to ensure employees understand best practices for protecting confidential information, both in and out of the workplace.