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News

Home worker security under strain with new flexible working legislation

Aruba Networks : 06 April, 2009  (Technical Article)
Aruba believes UK companies are unprepared for the increased amount of remote workers that will be accessing their networks with the new flexible working rights of parents introduced this week.
On Monday 6 April, new legislation comes into effect extending flexible working rights to parents of children aged 16 or under. This will potentially see an extra 4.5 million requests for remote working capabilities in UK firms - putting often outdated corporate policies and IT equipment to the test.

Roger Hockaday, Director of Marketing EMEA at Aruba Networks - a global leader in secure mobility solutions - has made the following comments:

"This is a fantastic idea in theory - parents need the flexibility to balance both home and work demands. Unfortunately though, many companies are still intimidated by the cost and complexity of traditional remote networking solutions - anything beyond the standard VPN client is often perceived as expensive to deploy and difficult to manage. To avoid having to deny flexible working requests simply because of cost, organisations must urgently find a way to overcome these very real challenges.

'While public Wi-Fi hotspots and consumer-grade home networks may on the surface seem like the most obvious and economic option, they are by no means a legitimate method of connection when dealing with corporate data. In reality, they are often uncontrolled and unsecured - making remote workers a soft target for hackers. Employees can't be expected to understand the myriad of data security threats that exist - so ahead of this legislation, organisations need ensure that networks are kept on a very tight leash and that enforceable policies can be easily extended beyond the office walls.

'Security aside, true flexibility can only be achieved if companies can seamlessly deliver enterprise, voice, video and data applications to all employees working away from the office. The 'snow day' a couple of months ago was a clear indicator of the importance of workplace flexibility, and hopefully this legislation will be a further push for companies to extend IT models to incorporate mobile workers. Only then will organisations be able to grant employee requests for flexibility when asked - rather than shying away because it's too complex, or just too risky."
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