Remote Workers to IT: We Care About Security
Fear not IT and infosecurity personnel. Most remote workers, mobile users and road warriors
toting around laptops and BlackBerrys have the business’s best interests in mind when it
comes to network security, according to a survey from mobility vendor Fiberlink.
Seventy percent of remote workers say they would rather get their work done on a secure
network connection, even if it meant their assignment would be late. In addition, 96 percent
say their IT department does a good job enabling mobility by supplying devices, providing
network access and helping them stay connected when working remotely.
More love for IT: Almost 78 percent of respondents say their IT department has provided them
with technology that lets them use their own PC while working remotely.
This is not to say that remote workers can’t put their organizations at risk. Almost one in
four have altered security settings or purposefully delayed security updates. Many have
downloaded personal pictures and videos (43 percent) or software for their own use (31
percent) on their company laptops.
And 25 percent admit visiting inappropriate websites on their corporate laptops. Lastly,
just how important has Internet connectivity become to remote workers? The survey found that
74 percent of mobile workers can’t get their jobs done without the Internet.
In addition, almost two-thirds of those surveyed believe it would be easier to live without
their car for a week than without the Internet.
Avoiding Costly Data Breach Notifications
Privacy Organizations spend serious money dealing with data breach notifications—millions of
dollars that could be better spent on improving security procedures or technology, according
to Bart A. Lazar, a partner with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw.
The CIO and the legal department can try and limit the risks associated with incident
response while conserving resources, says Lazar. He offers five tips that shouldn’t break
Encrypt personal information on laptops. It is expensive (approximately
$50-$100 per laptop), but worth the cost. Also, the unauthorized access or disclosure of
encrypted information does not trigger the sending of notices under most state database
security laws. Just make sure that it is at least 128-bit encryption.
Replace or truncate social security numbers. If your business can
substitute another number, you will create a fairly unique identifier that is difficult to
use for identity theft purposes and should take you out of most state database security
breach law scenarios.
Conduct due diligence on vendors. The CIO or an IT employee should
interview the vendor’s CIO or inspect the premises as part of awarding a contract.
Check the garbage. Several security enforcement proceedings were the result
of thefts by cleaning contractors, or failure of a company to properly shred personal
Communicate policies to employees. Often, companies have good policies in
place. The problem is that employees have not been asked to confirm that they have read and
understood the policies or they are not trained on the policies.
-Bart A. Lazar
Economic Woes May Lower SaaS Prices
The ongoing global economic crisis may spark a pricing war in the SaaS
(software-as-a-service) arena, according to a major vendor in the space.
At an investor conference last month, Salesforce.com Chief Financial Officer Graham Smith
discussed the company’s readiness to lower prices in order to remain competitive. “It won’t
surprise me if, going forward in these times, we see much more aggressive pricing. That’s
sort of typical,” says Smith. “We are able to match pricing.”
Smith indicated that Salesforce
.com, known for its customer relationship management (CRM)
software, is not about to run a closeout sale.
SaaS vendors typically cite a handful of advantages to the model such as no need to buy and
maintain new hardware, faster deployment and easier upgrades. So while some price cutting
may be at hand, such factors could also compel more customers to adopt SaaS, according to
Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang.
But another observer believes Smith’s prediction will be borne out in the market. “We were
already predicting something of a battle on pricing given how aggressive Microsoft is being
around Dynamics CRM Online. I guess the economic doom and gloom just lifts that,” says 451
Group analyst China Martens. “I’ve yet to hear the same price-cutting story from other SaaS
players name-checking the economy, but it’s sure to come.”
Beyond the world’s economic woes, SaaS has now reached a certain level of maturity, and
customers have had time to measure costs and their return on investment compared to
on-premises software deployments, Martens says. (Read “What SaaS Means to the Future of the IT Department”)
Meanwhile, other on-demand vendors acknowledged that pricing could become an issue but,
overall, painted themselves as being in a sound position to weather the rocky financial
The Danger of Being Too Nice at Work
If you’re a nice person, you probably think that being nice works to your advantage in the
Not necessarily. What nice people may not realize is that being too nice can seriously
stymie their career growth and success, says Russ Edelman, CEO of Corridor Consulting, and
coauthor of Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office: Eight Strategies for Winning in Business
Without Being a Jerk. “The people in business who suffer from nice-guy syndrome are not
achieving their true potential,” he says.
The problem with nice, according to Edelman, is that you run the risk that people will take
advantage of you.
Nice is not just a problem for individuals. It’s a problem for businesses, too. Employees
who are too nice cost their companies time and money. In a survey of 50 CEOs, Edelman asked
about the impact of “being too nice” on their businesses. The CEOs said that, on average,
being too nice has the potential to cost them eight percent of their gross revenues. In
other words, they believed their companies could have earned more money by being more
Edelman notes that managers who are too nice are reluctant to make decisions on their own.
They fear confrontation or hurting the feelings of others, so they include everyone in their
decision making. That wastes time and can lead to missed opportunities.”If you appease
everyone, if you fear hurting people’s feelings, you do a disservice to whatever project
you’re working on, to yourself and your business,” he says.
Softies need to toughen up, says Edelman. “I’m not advocating that people become jerks,” he
says. “But they need to find a balance to stay true to their nice nature while also being
appropriately assertive and protecting their interests.”