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The Mobile Worker – A Look Back and a Look Ahead

In 2011, there were approximately 1.3 billion mobile workers and this number is expected to grow to 1.6 billion by 2015, according to IDC.  And as the breadth of our mobile workforce expands, the opportunity for targeted data breaches is increasing exponentially as well.

The rise of the teleworker is a boon to business and government organizations. At the same time, the expanding mobile workforce is fueling the evolving threat landscape — Symantec’s 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report notes that cybercriminals targeting mobile devices and mobile vulnerabilities doubled from 2010 to 2011.  IT departments must find new ways to protect corporate data at risk of malicious penetration from the outside, and malicious or careless insiders as well.

So what does this mean for the IT department? A new generation of mobile workers needs secure, portable workspace environments, and secure mobile device control systems.

Here’s another look at our advice for IT departments managing a worker-on-the-go:

  • Staff need to be educated on the responsibilities of handling mobile devices and the data security risks
    Proper training has to be a major part of educating staff on how to use mobile technology in order to do their jobs without risking a data breach.
  • Implement secure computing solutions that allow employees secure access to what they need
    Teleworkers need to be able to conduct their daily business from any location and must therefore be equipped with hardware encrypted solutions with strong user authentication.
  • Provide a secure platform that locks down the host-computer
    As organizations continue to accept that mobile workspaces are extremely convenient and flexible, advanced centralized deployment and management are key elements of maintaining and controlling a secure environment.
  • Make it easy and convenient enough to avoid workarounds
    Mobile devices must act like the desktop an employee has left at their office otherwise users will inevitably break security protocols.

Employees and IT organizations should learn from the security-related mistakes of the past. Technological advancements to the ways in which we work will continue to evolve and while it is not something that we want to stop but we must leverage the lessons learned and be smarter about mobile safety.

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How to Meet the Data Security Challenge of Employees

The Biggest Cause of Data Breaches is People

In June of this year, the United Kingdom’s Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals’ NHS Trust failed to ensure that hard drives containing highly sensitive patient information were erased completely before they were handed over to a contractor. The hard drives ended up being sold on eBay, earning the Trust a £325,000 fine from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO); the largest fine of its type ever issued.

Like so many other companies that are issued with these hefty ICO fines, the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals’ breach was not caused by a faulty database or internal network problems but, simply, human error.
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Windows To Go: Compelling? Yes. However Adequate Security Will Be Crucial

Yes, But Adequate Security Will Be Crucial for Enterprise Adoption of Windows To Go.

There certainly was plenty of interesting news at the Microsoft TechEd North America conference recently. Updates included new versions of Internet Explorer, the Office productivity suite, and its flagship Windows operating system. All of this is important to enterprise customers, of course. But one thing that caught our eye, and hasn’t received the attention we think it deserves, is the potential impact of Microsoft Windows To Go.

In case you’re not familiar with it, Windows To Go provides a stored and full bootable image of Windows 8 on a USB device, so that mobile workers, contractors, telecommuters – basically anyone – can work just about anywhere they need or want, from almost any laptop they want.
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