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Home for Their Holidays

Sure, it's almost Thanksgiving, but what does that really mean for IT professionals? It means making sure that remote access to the network is rock-solid, so that senior execs can enjoy an extra-long vacation as they all coincindentally "work from home" on Monday through Wednesday.

Always a challenge thanks to the randomness of client devices -- and now more worrisome given the current spate of viruses, worms and other unsavory networking menu items -- remote networking is finally getting some more attention from the big companies, especially behemoth Cisco Systems. A plan called Network Admission Control, reported on today by InformationWeek's George Hulme, details Cisco's strategy for ensuring that remote systems are properly configured before letting them access the network.

Having seen first-hand (at a former employer) how remote systems can take down a network -- simply because the software patches in laptops weren't current -- it's time to give thanks that vendors are finally taking some responsibility for helping IT manage the situation. Too bad the networking firms aren't as forward-thinking as some companies are, in making sure their products are always fully baked.