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Data protection and new flexible working proposal.

Lumension Security : 07 November, 2007  (Technical Article)
Flexibility option for working parents introduced by British Prime Minister brings data protection for mobile and remote workers into focus.
Gordon Brown revealed flexible working plans in his Queen's Speech yesterday that will see
parents of all 17-year-olds being given the option of working 'flexibly.' The move could see parents being given leave to work at home while their children sit public exams. The initiative means an extra 4.5 million workers will now be able to dictate better working hours.

Alan Bentley, Regional VP of Lumension Security EMEA (formerly PatchLink) comments:

"Gordon Brown can't be criticised for trying to improve the daily challenges of working parents. Wide-spread flexible working will no doubt act as a catalyst for improving the modern day family unit and enable parents to play a bigger part in bringing up their children. However, it is of little surprise that there is some resistance to this change from businesses.

"Introducing flexible working practices not only requires a change in management style to accommodate off-site staff, but it also requires substantial changes in how companies protect their corporate data. Ultimately, introducing wide-spread home working will mean more workers will be travelling on public transport and motorways with their laptops and mobile devices that that contain significant amounts of corporate data. Unless properly protected, a forgotten laptop or misplaced USB drive will put businesses at risk.

"Companies need to take complete control of all corporate devices, so that data is protected while employees are on the move and when they are logging onto the corporate network remotely. The good news is that the process of securing home workers (and critically the business) without impacting their productivity is now a reality. Taking a home worker through all the necessary security check-ups has been reduced from minutes to fractions of a second. And, if removable devices are governed by policies to control the flow of inbound and outbound data from the endpoint, the risk of data loss is minimised."
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