November 1, 2011
IT and security administrators constantly struggle to protect “data at the edge”-data carried by mobile employees on laptops and mobile phones. Every security policy struggles with juggling the need to provide access and capabilities to these mobile professionals while unable to physically protect data that is not confined within the walls of the their building.
With mobile workforces ever expanding, security and access are at war. The battle rages between professionals who work from home or on the road against security concerns from their IT administrators. While the war is never over, a new weapon may change the field of battle. Enter the “Ninja Class Mobile Workforce.”
New hardware and software technology termed “PC on a stick”, essentially loads the entire operating system, programs and files onto a USB storage device (stick). Instead of providing employees with laptops, they can be given USB flash drive allowing them to plug into virtually any computer around the world and have instant, secure access to their own personal desktop and files. Since the operating system runs directly off of the USB’s flash drive, the users files never touch the borrowed computer and the device leaves no trace it was there. Since the PC’s hard drive is not accessed; any viruses, Trojans or spyware present won’t affect the flash drive. Even Internet browsing is private and won’t leave a trace on the PC.
Of course, all USB flash drives are not built equal. Several companies produce high grade flash drives that provide military level hardware and software protection along with remote policy management and remote data wipe capabilities. These USB flash drives also carry enterprise management tools allowing administrators to remotly monitor, control and manage their own security profile.
Imaging having to travel for business and instead of taking your laptop, cords, bag etc-you only need to shove your USB stick into your pocket. This is what somc could call a ninja class mobile workforce. The end result is a USB drive the size of a stick of gum allowing mobile professionals to have their entire desktop and corporate access from any PC worldwide, while feeling totally safe.