Man At the risk of running before we can walk; there is much talk of mobile workers and the ‘enabling’ technologies they use just now, but comparatively little time appears to be spent defining what a mobile worker actually is. As mobile workers come in different shapes and sizes (and different locations!), being able to demarcate distinct user types should help us define their data security needs.

Let’s start outside of the physical organisation that you work within. Depending on how your firm’s business model is structured, you may have partner companies that share data links with your business.

Partners can of course be extremely closely connected, so the question of whether these links are robust and locked down is as important as whether you have a lock on the front door of your building.

Staying outside the business for a moment longer, freelance workers, outsourced consultants, independent contractors and even non-executive board members may all share access to company data. These workers are very often mobile, semi-permanent, occasionally “hot desking” or completely reliant upon an Internet connection in terms of their connection to the company. This in and of itself poses a security risk and needs to form part of however basic an IT security policy your company decides to follow.

Even if we step closer to the core company pay roll, we still see telecommuters and staff working from home — although this ‘usually’ means the same thing. Again, an external data connection will always represent additional risk, especially if so-called “mission-critical” business data is being transmitted.

Outside of the stereotypical white-collar worker domain, we also have remotely based engineers, service personnel and all manner of field salespersons who will all rely on mobile connections. Suddenly we realise that mobile workers exist in many forms, all of whom will have different functions that compel them to work with different types of data sensitivity.

AVG’s position with regard to this mobile worker landscape is two-fold. We realise that we constantly need to define and measure the parameters that these (and potentially new) worker types will operate within so that we can continue to refine and augment our product to serve every protection scenario.

Secondly, we exist to enhance our existing set of mobile protection offerings, which include AVG’s Mobilation security software. Mobilation is a security app for Android smartphones and tablet computers, built to ensure that your company stays safe on the move while connected to insecure Wi-Fi.

As mobile workers and mobile work environments continue to evolve, so will our protection mechanisms.