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Quick Question: Remote Workers and E-mail Security

How big an issue is it when banks deploy remote workers outside the firewall?

Q: In terms of e-mail security and related compliance issues, how big an issue is it when banks deploy remote workers outside the firewall?

Paris Trudeau
Senior Product Marketing Manager
SurfControl, (Scotts Valley, Calif.)

This is a very big issue. Workers accessing the Internet through wireless hot spots, or hotel services, for example, can threaten corporate e-mail security, from the content accessed or actions taken while "unplugged," and the potential exposure to viruses, worms and Trojans. Financial institutions should develop Internet and e-mail use policies that can be extended to all employees regardless of location. These policies should be clearly communicated to employees. Then, technology that supports these policies needs to be deployed.

Rebecca Eisner
Outsourcing and Information Technology Practice Groups
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw (Chicago)

A mobile workforce has become a fact of business life. However, this mobility can cause risks, which need to be mitigated. Security is one of the most obvious risks in allowing a mobile workforce. There are currently many good technology measures available to help create a secure mobile workplace. These measures include things like multiple layers of security codes for system entry, enforcement regarding access codes, and encryption. Another risk of a mobile workforce is the lack of centralization of important documents and information. As workers circle the globe armed with personal computers and other mobile communication devices, important business information is increasingly locally storedn-for example, on the worker's computer. Often this information is never downloaded back to the central or regional storage points. As a result, important information can be lost due to computer error, or people attrition. Banks must create and enforce work policies and procedures regarding the capture, storage and backing up of important business information.

Tanya Candia
Senior Vice President and Chief Strategist
Sigaba (San Mateo, Calif.)

This is another reason secure messaging is gaining popularity so fast. Telecommuting, remote workers, the distributed workforce-this is all becoming more commonplace. Implementing basic tools, such as anti-spam or anti-virus, addresses only a small proportion of e-mail issues. Secure e-mail solves many problems at once by working inside and outside the firewall in both wired and wireless environments. It effectively enables organizations to manage risk while enforcing policies consistently and confidently. It is vitally important that remote workers remain protected by corporate e-mail policies when they send or receive sensitive information -- especially when the message may contain trade secrets or customer-identifiable information.

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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