Who would have guessed that telecommuting would get beyond talk for those dependent on IT to get their jobs done? With computing now mobile and offsite, e-security requirements abound. It's now time to practice safe computing for everyone from CEOs to programmer-analysts working online and offsite.
This rubber-to-road realization was caused by new technology capabilities and the work-style efficiencies they support. An American Management Association (AMA) telecommuting survey conducted in November 1999 found that out of 1,265 respondents, only 23% work from regular office locations. Fifty-seven percent work at home before or after regular office hours, 14% work at home occasionally during office hours on no fixed schedule, 2% work at home one or more days per week on a regular schedule, and 1% work at home full time. Major telecommuting problems focused on communication with colleagues, superiors, and subordinates.
|Computer testing sites |
| These sites can assist in identifying what's ailing "personal" machine shields. But the real responsibility is with corporate IT departments for e-security software installation. |
Gibson Research Corp.'s
LCA Internet Security Center
With new technologies comes a new set of e-security challenges. DSL and other broadband consumer technologies are becoming open game for hackers facing an ever-tightening organizational security net. "Always-on" Internet access, combined with ignored or poorly assigned personal software security settings (for example, not disabling the shared file feature in Windows), opens the door for hackers to jump in and gain access to organizational networks under the guise of legitimate employee access. For high-level telecommuters previously considered to be trusted sources, telecomputer threats can now far exceed those currently encountered. The worrisome mixture of corporate corroboration and personal preference resulting from escalating Internet service provider (ISP) and other broadband selection options is the motivating factor for increased telecommuting e-security. Respondents from the AMA study noted above reported that 58% of those teleworking were either loaned the necessary equipment to telecommute, the equipment was purchased for them, or telecommute expenses were shared with their employer. In other words, 42% telecompute on personal technology. Even with corporate ownership, working offsite is too often "out of site, out of mind." Which ISPs provide access and security services (if any) can be a function of employer or personal preference. Add the requirements for various security levels associated with employee position, content criticality, and telecomputing characteristics, and new standards for offsite, machine-based e-security are mandatory. A solution is to install offsite procedures.
|Extended enterprise content security products || Current leading personal security software include the following: |
Network Ice Corp.'s
Norton Internet Security 2000
Zone Labs Inc.'s
(e.g., 50%+, >25%, >10%). -- Evaluate Internet access resources for telecomputing e-security threats (e.g., ISP, DSL provider, cable services provider). -- Review interactions among steps 1 through 3 to create telecomputer e-security requirements. -- Install/recommend computer e-security software that maintains security from the outside in. Establish e-security requirements by: -- Employee level (i.e., executive, managerial, professional, clerical, contractor, etc.). -- Content level (e.g., secret, confidential, internal, public).