More IT Departments Are Using Software To Monitor Remote Workers

As more and more job seekers and businesses move to online operations for daily work, IT departments are forced to find creative ways to keep organizational computer networks secure and running smoothly. 

While businesses with remote workforces have less overhead and can tap into a larger talent pool, they face an increased risk of security breaches, data losses, and compliance issues. 

Trends suggest that job seekers will increasingly push for remote work. Therefore, businesses must be prepared with remote deployable security solutions to protect sensitive data and customer information. 

IT departments turning to remote employee monitoring software can improve remote team productivity and drastically boost security.  

Remote Work is on the Rise

Remote work trends have been on the rise since the 2010s. However, the availability of remote work technology and the need for work-from-home opportunities have been expedited during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Much of North American spent 2020 as a remote workforce, work from home (WFM) and telecommuting. Now, as the economy transitions in the post-COVID state, many businesses realize that their workers might prefer to work remotely or have flexible working options. 

According to recent statistics, 85% of managers believe that having at least some remote workers will be the new norm. Additionally, 74% of workers say that they would be more inclined to stay with a company if they had the option for remote work. 

Unfortunately, while WFM trends are increasing, businesses still face three major challenges: managing work-life balance while WFM (22%), loneliness (19%), and the ability to communicate or collaborate (17%).

Why Monitoring Software is Crucial for Remote Workforces

IT departments are extra concerned about remote work trends for security. According to reports, 54% of IT professionals think that remote workers pose a greater security risk than traditional, in-office workers. This is primarily because remote workers require technology and web access to do their job. While highly dependent on web access, in-office employees have the security of the on-site company network and can interact with colleagues in person. Therefore, remote workers are always at risk for cyber attacks. 

Unfortunately, many businesses do not offer training for cybersecurity or security software to protect against attacks. A quarter of companies train remote workers annually, more than twice per year, and 32% train twice per year. Other percentages of businesses train during employee onboarding only (8%) and through e-learning (11%). 

In many instances, training is not feasible. Nonetheless, businesses can adopt remote user monitoring software as added protection. 

Many businesses require data security, especially if they collect personally identifiable information (PII), sensitive data, customer data, or sensitive employee information. Businesses, particularly those in eCommerce, must abide by customer privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA. And other industries like financial services must follow a slew of compliance regulations to protect financial data. 

Introducing a tracking software can not only keep your company more secure, but it can also increase data visibility, improve company security, improve employee productivity, and allow businesses to follow compliance regulations

Here are some of the top reasons why IT departments use an employee monitoring solution: 

  • For increased network security
  • Data visibility
  • Improved data compliance
  • Improved employee productivity
  • Reduced risks associated with data breaches and insider threats
  • Save costs associated with employee monitoring (manual oversight), time theft, and insider threats
  • Increased company compliance around work policies
  • Boosted employee engagement and morale
  • Contributed to data loss prevention systems  

What is Remote Monitoring Software, and How do IT Departments Use it?

With all of the risks that businesses face due to remote security concerns, traditional security concerns, insider threats, data breaches, accidental data loss, productivity losses, and performance issues, it makes sense that IT departments turn to remote monitoring software as a mitigation strategy. 

Remote monitoring software is software that is deployed onto the computers that you want to monitor. The software can be deployed secretly if the computers are connected to a network or company computer. That way, the administrators can monitor employees while they are on company time. 

Otherwise, the software can be deployed to remote computers with employee consent. 

Once it’s deployed, administrators will be able to monitor the actions that occur on that computer. Administrators can view all of the monitored computers from a single console and view collected data, such as:

  • Keystroke logging
  • Communications details
  • Websites visited and time spent on websites
  • Apps visited and time spent on apps
  • Wasted time reports
  • Attendance tracking
  • And much more

Remote monitoring also classifies data and alerts admins when behaviors occur around classified data. For example, if a data is marked as customer information, then the system alert can be set up to monitor that data to abide by compliance regulations (like CCPA or GDPR) so that only authorized users can gain access to that file, and that alerts are sent out if that data is moved, copied, modified, or deleted. 

Therefore, IT departments can use this software to monitor sensitive data and see if it has infiltrated. IT departments can:

  • Monitor sensitive data and stop data movement that does not abide by policy or regulations
  • Be alerted to data movement or changes to resting data
  • Inform IT departments on who is accessing data, where, and when 
  • Use the alerts as a thorough audit track record
  • Use the software to monitor the users controlling the monitored computers so that they know if their employees are working or not
  • Stop insider threats from performing functions they aren’t allowed to
  • Monitor user behavior to report on normal behaviors
  • Be alerted on anomalous behavior

Implementing Your Remote Monitoring Software

Remote monitoring software is an incredibly useful and simple-to-use tool. Since the software can be deployed from a single location, and it can be installed either secretly or not, then this makes it a viable software for employee surveillance, improved productivity, and increased security. 

You’ll need to find the right remote monitoring software that works for your business. Remote monitoring tools come with features like:

  • Remote deployment
  • Keystroke logging
  • Email recording
  • Website log
  • Report generation
  • Screen captures
  • Multiple simultaneous computer monitoring

You’ll want to identify if you need to deploy the remote monitoring software secretly or if you need your employees to download the software themselves. 
And finally, the IT department or administrator can regularly monitor the software to stay up-to-date on alerts, anomalous behavior and step in when needed. Use SoftActivity to document employee productivity, boost remote security, and improve data visibility.

By SoftActivity Team

August 9th, 2021