The Heartbleed Internet-security flaw has compromised the security of an unknown number of web servers. This is just one story in a string of recent headlines involving the vulnerability of the Internet sites. But consumers aren’t the only ones affected. The companies whose websites have been attacked are employers, after all.
Although data security has become increasingly impossible to ensure, it has also become increasingly critical to employers’ viability. So employers are looking for ways to mitigate the exponentially increasing risks associated with the Internet.
One option being considered by some employers is blocking employees from their personal, web-based email accounts from the company’s servers. Companies can install powerful (albeit not impenetrable) spamware that can catch and prevent many Internet-based security threats. But that spamware works only on emails that come through the Company’s email servers. Email that is opened through a web-based account, such as GMail or Hotmail is not subject to the company’s protective measures.
Which is precisely why many IT professionals see web-based email accounts as a major security threat. But what’s an employer to do? Employers have long been trying to prevent the productivity loss associated with employees’ personal use of the Internet during working time. But now this effort has become a top priority.
Will employees stop checking their personal email at work if they’re asked nicely? If they understand the risks? Maybe. Maybe not. But it certainly wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Perhaps your company should consider explaining to its employees exactly why you don’t want them to check their personal email during working time. Hey, it’s worth a try.
By the way . . .
Data Security is the topic of one of the sessions at this year’s Annual Employment Law Seminar, which is coming up on May 8. If you haven’t registered, there’s still time. Just click here to get to the Seminar Registration page.