The growing menace of the swine flu is forcing many small business owners to consider telecommuting policies in the interest of business continuity. While supporting the idea of telecommuting is easy, implementing the infrastructure that will enable your employees to successfully telecommute can be more complicated.

The corporate network is designed to provide rapid access to key resources. However, employees working from home aren’t on the corporate network. The corporate network is also protected by a firewall, antivirus scanning, and any number of other security measures, but telecommuters are outside that safety perimeter.

To ensure a successful telecommuting experience, small businesses should include the following in their infrastructure:

1. Deploy client-based acceleration technology to ensure that telecommuters can easily and quickly access the corporate files and applications they need to be effective in their jobs.

2. Protect your telecommuters from malware, spyware, and phishing attempts with a client-based security solution that works in conjunction with a cloud-based analysis service to identify the latest threats and immediately protect users.

3. Create usage policies that can be consistently enforced across all employees, including telecommuters, to protect sensitive or proprietary data from accidentally leaking through the Internet via translation sites, for example.

With a successful telecommuting policy, companies have a solid foundation on which they can build a business continuity plan that allows them to flexibly respond to events like a swine flu outbreak.

Dave Asprey Vice-President for Technology Blue Coat Systems Sunnyvale, Calif.

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