Today's tube strike could cause a corporate data loss 'timebomb' as London-based employees work from home.

Mark Darvill, director at AEP Networks, said that the industrial action by the RMT and TSSA unions will not only disrupt journeys to and from work, but will drive employees to take vast amounts of confidential data out of the office leading to 'briefcases around the capital becoming data loss ticking timebombs'.

He said: “Although working from home is an accepted practice, many banks and government organisations have shied away from letting staff access confidential data outside of the office for fear of data loss or tampering.

“While concern over data tampering is well placed, the productivity versus security debate is dying a slow death.  Any organisation, regardless of the sensitivity of the data, can securely enable their employees to work remotely. It comes down to three things, protecting the connection, the device and data.

“Organisations can give their staff the flexibility to work from home with their own devices. By checking the configuration and security status of devices and approving it digitally, organisations can become device liberal. A high grade, secure tunnel over the internet will connect employees from their sofa to the corporate network. And providing security checks on the device itself will ensure that malware doesn't sneak onto the network.

“By implementing security procedures that give staff the ability to safely access corporate networks from their own laptop or PC, businesses can ensure that they don't grind to a halt when the tubes do.”

Alan Bentley, SVP international at Lumension, claimed that there is a real danger that employees will be tempted to side step company rules in order to remain productive during the travel chaos.

He said: “As a surge of potentially confidential data seeps beyond the office walls, businesses face a challenge to ensure their data remains protected should it end up in the wrong hands.

“The threat to the business is two-fold – opening a door for malware to get in and for confidential data to trickle out. Businesses must ensure that all data access points are correctly shielded from potential external threats. The only way to prevent data loss from removable devices is to take control of inbound and outbound data from all endpoints, and encrypt all data during transmission. With this approach, businesses can rest more easily.”