Study raises data privacy and security concerns about telecommuting

Telecommuting has its distinct advantages: no stressful trips on the freeway, a kitchen full of snacks, working in pajamas, even animal companionship (just watch out for paws on the keyboard).

But working from home isn’t all kitty cats and cozy fires. A study released this morning by the Center for Democracy and Technology and Ernst & Young said telecommuting and other remote access of corporate networks poses data security and privacy challenges for employers. The report, “The State of Telecommuting: Privacy and Security” (PDF download) warns:

It is difficult enough to secure a corporate network with the constant and persistent threat from malicious external parties, from hackers to spammers to viruses. But for the chief technology officer or chief risk officer of today’s organization, perhaps no issue presents more complexity — or more headaches — than the necessity to protect corporate and personal information in an environment where employees travel widely or routinely work at home, using personal computers, laptops, non-corporate-owned machines and personal digital assistants.

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