Many businesses, but particularly those in the accounting field, leverage temporary or seasonal workers.  With the advances in technology, utilizing these types of personnel is even easier.  The benefits are obvious—expertise and additional resources/capacity when you need it.  However, what may not be so obvious are the risks; in particular, the increased potential for compromised sensitive data or loss of control of the data.

With some upfront planning, technology, temporary workers, and your business can be perfect together.  Here are things to keep in mind:

Determine how they will access your data.  When bringing on temporary staff, you need to decide how they are going to access your electronic information.  Are they going to use their own computers (BYOD) or will you be providing it (COPE)?  If it’s the latter, you will have greater control over what and how they access information.  If the temporary staff provides their own equipment, you will have less control and will need to think carefully about how you give access to your data.  This includes email which is easily setup on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Implement good policies/procedures. Whether you opt for COPE or BYOD, be sure to have good policies and procedures for managing your corporate technology assets and information—especially for those workers who will be with you for only a short time.  Clearly outline ownership of your data, how it is to be accessed and handled, and what should happen at the end of employment.

Require passwords/encryption. On mobile devices, require passwords to access the device itself as well as your data.  Consider implementing device encryption.  Whenever possible, enable the ability to remotely wipe a device (this includes laptops) should it be lost.  Consider implementing mobile device management software that will enforce company policies.

Don’t forget the data itself. Too often, temporary workers are given full access to company networks when perhaps all that is needed is access to a particular project or client area.  Work with your IT support to ensure that all access is given on an as-needed basis.

Need some upfront help with planning?  Call IT Radix, and we’ll be happy to get you started.

First published in our August 2015 IT Radix Resource newsletter