Here’s a common workplace situation to consider: an
employee wants to work from home because she is having
a contractor in to do some work on her kitchen. The night
before, knowing she won’t have access to her work drive
at home, she downloads the files to her personal laptop. Though
this is against company policy, she doesn’t think she has any other
option – she has to access the files somehow; without access to
her work drive from home, it would mean a big chunk of produc-tive
hours lost. So, knowingly or not, she breaks company policy.
When workers feel technology or security protocols hinder
their work, they take one of two common paths: they will bypass
protocol and use their own device to complete their work, or their
productivity will decrease. When security and convenience are at
odds in the workplace, the latter often comes out on top.
This crossroad is typical – and the choice illustrated above is
frequent. According to a recent survey from Citrix Canada called,
“The Citrix Cloud and Security Survey”, four-in-10 workers feel
their employer’s security protocols make it difficult for them to
work remotely. The survey, which probed Canadians on their
workplace security habits on and offline, also found 63 per cent
have shopped or surfed the web on a company device, and 50 per
cent have been a victim of a phishing email or an online virus.
This means the opportunity for a breach caused by an employee
infraction is likely. For many companies, there is much to lose –
from a reputation standpoint and a financial standpoint – if one
does occur, in addition to the potential damage for customers
whose information is compromised.
But for company executives looking to bolster their security
strategy in an era of wide-scale breaches and train their employees
to take security protocol seriously, convenience and security can-not
be at odds. With the right technologies and policies, security
can be convenient, and convenience can be secure.
A smart security strategy for any organization is about strik-ing
the right balance for employees and employers, and getting
IT departments, HR workers and top-level executives to buy-in
and lead the way. While mobility is a staple of many workplaces,
a survey from 2017 by Oxford Economics and Citrix found only
20 per cent of Canadian companies had a cohesive and integrated
mobile strategy in place, demonstrating a gap in organizational
everythingpossible / 123RF Stock Photo
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SECURITY AND CONVENIENCE ARE AT ODDS?
By Ching Mac
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ AUGUST 2018 ❚ 41