NordVPN: Spanish Government Pioneers to Regulate Remote Working

Governments attempt to protect remote labor and set the grounds for new habits by regulating working conditions.

London, United Kingdom, September 06, 2020 --( As the pandemic shows no signs of fading out, certain cities are closing down again, forcing employees out of offices. The Spanish government pioneered to regulate the conditions of remote working, as this was concerning more than 30% of the workforce that transferred to work from home this spring. The draft entitles employees to covered utility expenses and the right to disconnect.

The pandemic has been called the biggest social experiment of our times, forcing organizations to resolve the unpredictable. As for now, more and more companies around the world are starting to treat remote working as the new normal, especially in tech and other industries that don’t depend on physical interactions.

The law is meant to protect and form habits.

The rate of remote working in Spain was one of the lowest in the EU (4.8% compared to an average of 5.4%). According to Gartner, large corporations with 10,000 people or more were ready to accommodate only 10% of their employees to work from home.

As working from home was considered far from being the usual practice, businesses were highly unprepared. During the lockdown, NordVPN Teams, a cybersecurity solution for businesses, saw a 165% usage spike and an almost 600% increase in sales overall. Acquiring basic cybersecurity tools at the last minute testifies to the fact that businesses were far from ready to make the sudden shift.

The unusual conditions backfired on employees. Multiple sources reported that due to increased working hours, employees burned out during the pandemic. Having done an analysis of server activity on its network, NordVPN Teams found that the average working day in Spain increased by 2 hours.

“Remote” stands for “extended vulnerability.”

The draft regulating remote work also stipulates that the employer will have to cover utility expenses, like Wi-Fi and electricity. However, it does not provide any regulations regarding the business’s privacy and data protection. According to the draft, "the company may not require the installation of programs or applications on devices owned by the worker, or the use of these devices in the development of remote work."

The first wave of lockdowns has shown that employees tend to use their personal devices for work and vice versa. This led to increased rates of cybercrime. Major corporations have been hit by ransomware attacks freezing their operations for months.

To this end, the law addresses the personal use of professional equipment: employees may be granted the right to use corporate devices for personal needs, but will not be entitled to install software requested by the company on their own devices.

“Employees are usually less concerned about software updates and more reluctant to use secure channels of communication. As a rule, attacks happen because of postponed updates: vendors provide fixes, but users are not in a rush to install them,” says Juta Gurinaviciute, Chief Technology Officer at NordVPN Teams.

Employees’ reluctance to react swiftly to security upgrades opens the door to high profile data breaches and cyber crime. Moreover, employees use the same Wi-Fi connection on both their personal and business devices. If one device is compromised, it puts the other one at risk.

Another weak spot of working from home is an improved environment for social engineering. Hackers pretend to be employees or business partners to gain the victim’s trust and gain access to sensitive data.

Employees’ privacy

To protect their own privacy, employees are advised to keep work and personal matters separate, which also applies to the usage of devices.

“Business VPN solutions log employees’ online presence. In order to keep their browsing private, employees should use personal devices or at least install private VPN connections on corporate computers,” advises Daniel Markuson, NordVPN digital privacy expert.

About NordVPN

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security-oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, malware blocking & Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers worldwide, and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information:
Laura Tyrell
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