Authored by Bob Hansmann of Blue Coatand originally published on Blue Printblog.
Remember a time when the office shut down for the holiday season, really meant that the office was shut down? When desktops and workstations sat idle and server lights barely blinked with the lack of network activity?
Those days seem like a long time ago. Now, the desktops and workstations might be idle, but the server lights are blinking more rapidly than Rudolph’s nose as everyone continues to work from anywhere and everywhere. Thanks to the proliferation of laptops, the tremendous popularity of smart phones and tablets and the roll-out of ‘bring your own device to work’ policies people are working from home, working from Gate 26B on their way to grandma’s house, and from the basement of grandma’s house while trying to avoiding too much holiday cheer.
While mobile working is great for agency productivity and responsiveness, when your workers leave the office, you need to ensure that they’re not leaving their majority of network security smarts on their desk. Are they really protected by little more than a personal firewall and end point antivirus?
One of the first lines of defense is user education and awareness. During the holidays, with everyone on the move, make certain employees know the basic ‘appropriate use’ guidelines as well as who to call if they leave their device in the bin at the airport security checkpoint.
But more importantly, what is your IT team doing on the backend to make sure data is secure at every point on the network… and off the network?. VPNs and a secure gateway can secure data and protect against malware, phishing attacks, and botnets from the network side. But security services can be delivered via the Cloud to ensure that mobile users access the Web through a virtual gateway regardless of their current location. Intelligent routing guarantees that policy is applied on a global basis and ensures consistent protection and enforcement for federal employees no matter where they are enjoying their cookies and egg nog.
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