Freeing the Shackles with Secure Remote Working
by Calum Macleod - European Director of Netilla Networks - Thursday, 24 September 2003.
The medical profession has been one of the first sectors to really grasp this technology, enabling doctors to quickly and easily gain results for patients online in a secure manner - providing them with the information to be able to act swiftly, update medical records, look at x-rays online, order medicines and arrange immediate treatment for their patients. The doctors have taken to the technology because it is inexpensive, simple to use and requires little training - the screen on their laptop or PDA looks exactly as it does on their computers in the hospitals, requiring little help from their IT departments and allowing them the autonomy they are used to. The technology also suits the working pattern of Doctors as they are often on the move and don't want to be carrying medical and confidential files around with them. It has equally compelling benefits for the hospital's IT staff, who no longer need to worry about configuring communications software onto the hundreds of PCs - most of which they don't even own - of their affiliated physicians.Other sectors to have grasped this technology have been manufacturing, finance, exhibitions, retail, shipping and the public sector. All of which have taken on the technology as it provides:
  • Fast access
  • Is easy to use
  • It is accessible from anywhere, over the Internet
  • Simple & rapid to deploy (can often be installed and activated in just a few hours)
  • Provides high security (at least 128-bit SSL encryption) to remote users, whether they are at home at their place of work or on the move. The technology also ties into smart cards, tokens and most other corporate security methods to provide even more stringent "two factor" authentication.
  • Up to 40 percent lower cost than earlier remote-access VPN technology.
  • The ability for organisations to customize the data accessible to each user: a corporate vice president, for example, might be able to tap into more resources than a field-based salesperson.
Most PC support problems can be solved in the main office, so avoiding the problem of a 5 minute fault call in the office becoming a 2 hours 5 minute support visit to a home worker. For those managers who still need convincing of the benefits, consider the implications of the Employment Act 2002 and its two associated Regulations, which have given mothers and fathers the right to request to work flexibly from the 6th April 2003. The legislation virtually imposes a legal requirement for employers to implement the technology and facilitate the option of home working. Lastly, the government is gradually making it more and more costly & difficult to travel to work by any means apart from walking, two-wheels and public transport. Yet we all know that, while the theory of a co-ordinated public transport system is desirable, the practicality & cost of achieving one will ensure that it never becomes a reality. The maximum acceptable daily commute for most London workers has grown, from 1 hour each way, to a current 2 hours. This equates to over 20 hours per week - an added 50% on a 40 hour working week and costs around £4,000 p.a. from taxed income, for the rail ticket alone. Technological developments have given us the means to work virtually in the country, if not the world, at any time of the day. A 24/7 society needs 24/7 public services and the only cost effective way and socially acceptable way they can be delivered, is by implementing remote and home working. Netilla Networks, Inc. is a leading global provider of enterprise-class secure remote access solutions. The Netilla family of SSL VPN appliances gives organisations the power to make their mission-critical applications and resources instantly available to employees and trusted partners anywhere via standard Web browsers, while safeguarding internal networks. Compared to traditional VPN technologies, the Netilla Security Platform is a versatile, simple and quick-to-deploy solution that lowers the total cost of remote access security management. Netilla's products are available through a worldwide network of value-added resellers. Netilla can be reached at www.netilla.com.

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