There are many types of workers that are constantly on the road. Sales is typically the first position to come to mind, but many technical employees travel a lot as well, as do employees that provide training services for customer corporations. Freelancers are a big group that needs to work remotely as they might be in completely different cities depending on the day! This blog goes out to how the cloud can help these employees live be easier, and more secure when it comes to reaching back to the home office.
There are various technologies that companies can issue road warriors aside from a mobile phone and a laptop to help keep them productive. Companies can issue virtual desktops, so that employees can access their work environment from any device. They can also issue 3G mobile cards to provide internet access anywhere that cellular reception is available. A big tool that most, if not all, mobile employees should have is a VPN - this gives the employee the ability to access the company network without putting company data at risk. Even if everything the employee does day-to-day doesn't need much from the company network, itâs still an excellent tool to give to a mobile worker. The big reason why a VPN is important is because in many cases employees will access public Wi-Fi networks which can be a nesting ground for malicious hackers looking to crack into a new machine to either install malware or steal data.
Email is an obvious tool that mobile workers will need - along with communication software such as Skype, company email will probably be the biggest communication tool your mobile worker will have at their disposal, even more so than their mobile phone or tablet. With a company email address many clients would probably have no way of knowing that the mobile employee isn't in the office unless they have met him or her off-site. Of course, this means that protecting email access is very important. This can be done by requiring email access to be done via virtual desktop, adding a layer of access control in the way of getting to email. SSL encryption should be in place in the email account as well - this is a best practice for any type of email solution, regardless of whether employees are mobile or not. In a worst case scenario where a mobile phone or laptop is lost, remote wipe software can be used to erase all data on the machine to prevent client records from getting into the wrong hands (again, this can also be resolved with a virtual desktop - the desktop is in the data center, not the laptop!).
Education is the most important tool you can give a mobile worker. Empowering the employee by teaching them about how phishing attacks can get them via their email or letting them know how jail breaking or rooting their phone or tablet can result in âgainingâ access to unsecured or even flagrantly malicious apps is paramount for any mobile employee who isn't able to visit IT whenever an issue takes place. Teaching employees to be weary of SD cards and USB drives that come from unknown sources is important too - there are many forms of malware that can be installed on these genuinely useful tools, but if your team doesn't know about them, they simply canât defend against them.
Finally, you need to have the infrastructure in place to support your team. Virtual desktops need to be hosted on a server, and private file servers need to come from somewhere as well. Even email servers donât just sprout up out of thin air. Various providers exist that can source infrastructure for you on a rental basis for either dedicated private servers or cloud servers so that you don't need to make a large capital investment.