Remote Users Are The Weakest Link

Thursday, 20 February 2003, 1:28 AM EST

Say there's a remote worker who connects to the corporate net through a VPN, and to the Internet via broadband and a Wi-Fi hub. Is this user a threat to corporate data? You bet: That broadband link could be vulnerable to a hacker, who could then "piggyback" into the VPN.

That's just one of the remote-security scenarios that keeps IT security pros awake at night. With more and more employees telecommuting, guarding the remote links is turning into a major challenge.

But it doesn't have to be that way: Approach remote security with the same seriousness you treat mission-critical data, and you'll rest easier. For example, make sure remote users have a personal firewall. Keep their anti-virus software up to date. Instruct them on how to create hack-proof passwords—or better yet, get them to encrypt their files.

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