One of the clear messages we received during the Ework Summit in May was security is a big issue for organizations considering work at home programs. The concerns centered on security in most cases is valid but in some cases the concern prevents organizations from providing the tools their employees need to be successful.
An article recently published by ITBusinessEdge clearly separates mobility solutions from telecommuting solutions. Many employees that work at home full-time need solutions that are fundamentally more stable and reliable than typical mobile devices. This means creating a network that enters the home where, in many cases, a wireless router is providing connectivity throughout the house.
The ITBusinessEdge article focused on the wireless network as being the stumbling block that many security professionals are attempting to figure out. The issue is that they don’t control the wireless “LAN” in an employees home and can’t be sure how secure it really is. Some suggestions were made the educating the employee about how to insure a high level of security could be part of the solution. At the end of the day, though, how do you really know.
Another suggestion may be to eliminate the wireless network all together. Cox’s Ethernet solution does just that. The work device connects directly to the managed modem and then to a secure, private network. The Cox Ethernet solution is MEF certified and meets the standards set under five categories: Quality of Service, Reliability, Standardized Service, Scalability and Service Management. To even further enhance security the Ethernet solution allows the organization to dictate what devices can connect to the network via Mac IP Addressing.
As stated above, security concerns can also prevent companies from providing the employee with the tools they really need to be successful when working from home. A July slide show in CIO.com ranked the 8 unfriendliest markets for telecommuting. They were surprisingly large centers of commerce. Some of the reasons given for the rankings included: over all trust; low-level of support from management and colleagues; the unavailability of private, secure social networking tools; lack of tech support and the lack of internal, secure collaboration tools. Underlying all these issues I believe you will either find the root cause is cultural or stems from an overall concern about security.
You can see some of the articles mentioned above by clicking on the links below. I hope your enjoy this blog and as always look forward to your feedback.
Definition of MEF Certification: http://metroethernetforum.org/page_loader.php?p_id=140