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  • Writer's pictureCraig Wake

5 Data Security Myths About Internationally Distributed Workforces


Hey there folks! Since the COVID pandemic, and more enforcement of remote working practices, there have been multiple high visibility data breaches, with many organizations having to begin to operate remotely with little preparation.

On the other side of the equation, Nearshore outsourcing organizations have been working for many years in borderless distributed workplaces and have much higher degrees of maturity. But still, some are concerned with expanding their remote teams internationally.

Are you still worried about the security of remote workers outside your country and is that stopping you from taking advantage of the numerous benefits of nearshore talent? Don’t fret, because it turns out that there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding this topic that are just plain incorrect and that with the right policies, procedures, training, and controls in place, these risks remain no higher than domestically.

Let’s take a few minutes to explore the common myths and misconceptions we deal with on a regular occurrence!

 

Misconception #1: Remote workers outside your country of operation are less trustworthy.

Let’s get one thing straight — we all agree that trustworthiness isn’t dependent on physical location. Whether they’re in the USA or halfway across the world, what matters most is that you team members are good at their job and committed to it, with the necessary training and oversight needed to perform professionally, diligently, and with integrity. So, let’s not discriminate based on location, okay?

At Proactiviti, we spend a lot of time cultivating great talent and collaborative teams that love working together, have deep respect for their peers and come from backgrounds that believe in family, integrity, and building long-lasting relationships.

 

Misconception #2: International remote workers are more likely to leak sensitive company information.

This one’s a doozy, but fear not! This is a common misconception that is not based on any factual evidence, and the risk of data leakage has nothing to do with where the remote worker is located. As long as proper physical device security measures and software security measures are put in place, your company information is just as safe with remote workers anywhere in the world.

One of the most effective ways to protect against data breach is to implement physical and software device security measures that ring-fence accessibility through stringent policy controls and techniques such as remote-device control, email encryption, and multi-factor authentication. This includes providing remote workers with secure devices that are protected and encrypted and that they are only using secure networks that are permanently routed through domestic endpoints with breach and malware protection. Furthermore, the use of non-authorized or public networks should never be permitted.

In addition to these security measures, it is important to establish clear policies and guidelines for remote workers regarding the handling of sensitive company information. Remote workers should be trained on best practices for data protection and privacy and should be required to sign legally-binding confidentiality agreements that are enforceable in their country of domicile.

It is also important to conduct regular security audits of your remote vendors and employees, and vulnerability assessments to ensure that security measures are up-to-date, effective, and being used.

If you’d like to know more about how we at Proactiviti protect our client’s data privacy like no one else, reach out to us for our distributed workforce security briefing pack.

 

Misconception #3: International remote workers are more likely to engage in fraudulent activity.

Well, simply put, no. Fraudulent activities can happen with any employee, regardless of where they’re located. Just make sure you do your due diligence when hiring, and you’ll be just fine. Background checks, references, and a deep understanding of an employee’s background and mental well-being are important facets of ensuring that you are hiring people that care and are ready to work remotely and with purpose.

At Proactiviti, we perform screening for criminal backgrounds and use of illegal or performance enhancing substances, as well as phycological wellness interviews for all our employees. We also provide counseling services in times of bereavement, trauma, or mental fatigue, as well as other well-being benefits. Happy and content people leads to integrity and purpose!

 

Misconception #4: International remote workers are more difficult to manage

Let’s put it this way — managing remote workers internationally is no different than managing those within. Granted, language and communication are the only outlier, and ensuring that your international workers all have a consistently high level of written and verbal English is a critical measure.

Having consistent working policies, and the training associated with using remote collaboration tools effectively are critical in ensuring things work smoothly.

We ensure that your remote teams are co-located in similar time-zones together with yours so that their working styles do not impinge on their work-life balance, and we provide you with the best possible integration experience.

 

Misconception #5: International remote workers are less productive

Nuh-uh, not true! In fact, international remote workers are most often highly motivated and productive because they have the freedom and autonomy to work with flexibility and purpose, without the shackles of stressful commuting, noisy environments, and disturbances.

Moreover, bringing diversity of opinion and perspective to your teams through international workers is a valuable way to improve solutioning and team morale that can be extremely valuable to your team on a personal and professional level.

An experienced firm will have multiple ways to ensure that you as a client are able to measure the contribution and value of our teams to your initiatives such as traditional feedback mechanisms, online availability and visibility scoring, and sprint productivity measurement (for outcome based engagements).

 

So, there you have it — don’t let these misconceptions hold you back from hiring remote international workers and gain all the benefits of nearshoring such as speedier access to talent, reduced costs, and diversity.

Working with a partner that has strong policies and procedures, training, device security, and an inclusive culture ensures that you’ll thrive with a global team. Let’s embrace the diversity and reap the benefits, together!

To learn more about how Proactiviti works with our international clients, visit us at www.proactiviti.com/workwithus/

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