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Australia’s remote workers face connectivity and security issues

By Jessie Chiang
Fri 20 May 2022

The latest research from SOTI has found better video conferencing technology and improved security measures are top concerns for remote workers in Australia.

Nearly half (49%) would like to be closer or in better contact with their team members when working outside of the office.

The report found that 43% of remote workers reported connectivity comprised their productivity and 44% want better video conferencing solutions and video calling capabilities implemented to bridge this ‘connection gap.’

SOTI VP of sales in APAC, Michael Dyson, says many Australians are now working with a hybrid model or work remotely most of the time.

“The number of Australian workers who are undertaking their roles remotely has grown dramatically throughout the pandemic, which is placing a real strain on businesses to ensure that teams still feel connected, and workers can carry out their tasks effectively in spite of not being in the immediate vicinity of support,” he says.

“Mobile technologies such as video conferencing and messaging capabilities can bridge this divide, but these devices need to be fit for purpose and managed properly.”

SOTI says it was alarming that 46% of Australian remote workers stated that their employers hadn’t provided any additional security briefing or solutions for managing their mobile devices since they began working outside the office.

“As Australia’s workforce has shifted to operating outside of an office environment, the security of mobile devices is critical,” says Dyson.

“An unmanaged device that becomes compromised or lost is a major issue for business, especially when it exists in a remote environment and without the supervision or help of IT staff. It is now more important than ever for organisations to ensure all their mobile devices are properly managed and secured – which is why more education around device management and security needs to be supplied for remote workers.”

The report also found that while mobile devices remain the bread and butter of any remote workforce, many consists of a mix of personally owned and company-supplied devices – with 62% of remoted workers using a mix of personal and company-owned mobile devices, and 27% using only personal devices. 

SOTI says this hybrid combination comes with its own challenges entirely when it comes to Mobile Device Management (MDM) and security.

“Australian organisations need to be aware of the need to secure critical and private company information in a remote setting, and when most devices are running from home, or personally owned, the risk of this information being unsecure is much greater,” says Dyson.

“Sensitive information may be protected through an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution within one organisation, but then that information might be shared with a contractor (like an electrical contractor servicing a customer for a utility provider), who has an unmanaged device.”

Dyson says this means an organisation could send private information to a contractor whose own mobile device is not secure, and the sender doesn’t know or have control over what the receiver does with that information.

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