Monitoring Remote Employees – Operations Enabler or Stopper for Enterprises?

Monitoring Remote Employees

Monitoring remote employees —is it an operations enabler or stopper for enterprises? Cybersecurity experts consider remote employees as threats because they are away from physical sight, working from remote locations. Businesses find it challenging to get the best output from them. Now, remote work is going to stay as dynamics have excessively changed post-pandemic. Thus enterprises are looking to find ways to counter remote working challenges and they have found it in the form of suspicious activity monitoring software.

Before we go forward, first let us know the challenges of remote work for enterprises. 

Monitoring Remote Employees: Concerns About Remote Work

Remote work is not a flagship concept in the market. Big companies used to consider it in their risk management approaches. However, there was intimidation to exercise it as a regular corporate practice. Working from home or remote work  has a negative perception in the market. Business leaders feel remote workers are more harmful than on-site workers because they have access to classified data which can be breached anytime knowingly or unknowingly. 

Today, as remote working has become a new way of life, it has also created threats against cybersecurity. The virtual private network is highly prone to attacks as once the attackers infiltrate into the virtual environment, they can cause havoc with whatever is in the system. VPN was previously being used by companies to give access to technical people to critical assets of the company in the system. Now there is a growing tendency by companies to allow more users, in this case, remote users into the VPN. Due to the lack of old firewall rules, data security is always compromised as cyberattack risk has increased from attackers and disgruntled ex-employees.

Following the exponential growth of remote workers, businesses are having sleepless nights to protect the virtual networks and remote workers from cyber-attacks. It can be very much possible that only a terminal might have been compromised and attackers might sneak into the network and cause widespread damages. To block such attacks, businesses have to move from system to system to find the root cause for the entry which is an uphill task. Such scenarios can greatly dilute cybersecurity and therefore it is always a concern. 

While there are problems, there are solutions as well. We have streamlined a few industry best practices in order to counter these threats. 

Best Practices for Monitoring Remote Employees

With the shift to the working from home concept, monitoring remote employees for better productivity has become essential. Here are a few best practices.

Block key combination

While using the keys, users will not be able to use some key combinations where the admin feels that such usage may weaken the security aspects. For example, taking the screenshot, print screen or copy/paste function are blocked.

Website whitelisting

When it comes to monitoring remote employees with website whitelisting, the admin can prevent the user from opening some sites in their browser by limiting its access wherein the view of admin, there can be some data leak if the user is working at some remote location.

VDI integration

Virtual Data Integration (VDI) helps the end-users to work remotely on a common virtual platform which gets launched immediately when they log into the virtual environment. Here, the users have access to work in an environment that might not be available in their personal system. This is the best option for the enterprise to secure data security because if by chance data gets deleted accidentally from their system, then it will be available in the virtual server which can be accessed anywhere.

Real-time activity status

The remote worker’s active performance can be monitored by leveraging proactive monitoring tool on a real-time basis since he is working in a shared and hosted environment.

Admin barge-ins

Here the admin can intervene in case they are doing some mischievous activities which can lead to a data security threat. Employee desktop live viewer allows the admin to capture any malpractice of the user leading to dilution of cybersecurity during his active hours or during the period when he is logged in.

User image record 

With this tool for monitoring remote employees, the virtual environment in which users are working has the facility to capture the image by leveraging real-time pc monitoring software to check if any impersonator is working on the other end.

Historic record

All the images, screenshots captured by the admin of the user are stored, used and analyzed to improve employees’ efficiency and also to identify any unusual behavior.

Monitoring Remote Employees: Artificial Intelligence

Employers use a variety of tools for monitoring remote employees for several reasons. It may be to find the active versus idle time or track system-managed alerts through the activity tracking system, whenever any process violation is notified. These are all proactive monitoring tools that are useful for the employer to find the inadequacies and to reduce them by evaluating the user’s performance through AI-generated data. Monitoring through Artificial Intelligence should not be the only deciding point but it should supplement human interaction between employer and employee. It should always be kept in mind that AI is a tool for decision making and should not become the master where all the decisions are totally guided by its results.

Monitoring Remote Employees: Consider Employee Privacy

The biggest risk in monitoring remote employees is the right to privacy, Every employee expects some degree of privacy from the employers. There should be a proper justification for such infringements. Employers must take steps to increase employee awareness and put transparency into monitoring guidelines.

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Pratik Salia

Pratik Salia

Experienced Professional with a demonstrated history of working in startups & conglomerates. Skilled in Operations, E-commerce, Customer Experience, ABM Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Brand Positioning, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Market Research, and Management.