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Katie Bar The Door

The more technologically sophisticated non-IT employees become, the bigger their potential threat to the enterprise. A little knowledge has always been a dangerous thing, and when it comes to employees and technology, a little technology knowledge can add up to big dangers.

Look at wireless LANs (WLANs), for example. A recent survey revealed that 84 percent of companies that have deployed wireless WLANs have not experienced security problems. But there is an interesting footnote to these findings. The primary drivers for WLAN introduction were the promise of increased productivity and demand from end-users. In other words, employees who have grown accustomed to grabbing e-mail at a coffee-shop hotspot want the same level of convenience at the office.

And therein lies the potential for—and the potential peril of—a cascade of hardware and software that flows, not just through our businesses, but also through our home and private lives.

The technological overlap between cubicle desktop and kitchen table has never been larger. Employees use mobile devices to carry work home, and they often use personal devices and technologies to enhance their business productivity at the office.

As noted, most enterprise WLANs are operating securely. What gives many IT specialists pause is the security of that coffee-shop hotspot or home Wi-Fi network, where exists the possibility of inadvertently revealing sensitive business information and passwords or picking up a virus or worm.

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