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Worse than the Flu: How Not to Infect Your Workplace Because Your Kids Were Careless on the Internet

You thought you did everything right: you were processing payroll or working with corporate secrets from home on a dedicated, password-protected computer that no one else was allowed to touch, and you didn’t use it for anything but work (no surfing the internet or checking personal email, not even looking at videos on Youtube or checking updates on Facebook). But, when you weren’t looking (or maybe even when you were), a virus from you kid’s computer scanned your home network, discovered your work computer and hopped right in. And it all cascades from there, grabbing your login credentials and wreaking havoc not just on the data on your work computer, but on your employer’s computer network and the work computers of your fellow employees, as well. Not through any action of your own, but through the careless actions of your kids on the Internet combined with the security holes present in current networking technology and operating systems.

Your router/switch will not prevent this from happening, nor will the firewall/modem from your ISP. Routers and switches are solely concerned with delivering data, not examining it or preventing delivery, while your firewall manages only the traffic coming into your network from outside and concerns itself not the least with what goes on inside nor what is sent out.

Naturally your employer would not be pleased at the data breach and resulting costs in terms of time, lost opportunities, lost business, lost employee time and monetary expenses. Breaches like this, particularly when they can be traced back to a specific employee working outside of the office can be especially damaging to the trust that is so crucial to a successful telecommuting relationship, let alone the question of potential personal liability and loss of income. Even the best working relationship will suffer in such an event. Issues like network security that concern your primary source of income, both current and future, are a serious consideration for anyone setting out to telecommute.

While teaching your kids (or anyone else who may use your home computer network and Internet connection) the best practices for doing anything on the Internet is a good idea, you cannot count on them always remembering (or following) your instructions, and even the most careful surfer of the Internet may run afoul of virus and malware schemes that utilize advertising networks and similar structures to spread their nastiness. While good Internet usage is always important, from any angle, it is equally crucial to be prepared for when best practices fail or distracted computer users click on the wrong thing. When your kids can’t always match their pants to their shirt, you know you cannot fairly expect them to always make the right choices when on the Internet.

While keeping your computer’s security applications up-to-date is a good thing to do, it is only a one part of a strategy of practical preparation, which should also include tools for keeping your work computer separate from the other devices on your home network. LateralAccessDevice is such a tool that allows you to essentially silo off each device on your home computing network from each other, thereby preventing unnecessary and potentially dangerous communications from getting from, for example, your kids’ tablet or your “smart” TV and entertainment system to your work computer. In this fashion, even if one of these other devices were to become infected with a myriad of viruses, malware, trojans, spyware and ransomware, your work computer would remain unaffected because LateralAccessDevice would not allow any communications to reach your work computer from any of these other devices.

LateralAccessDevice, however, may also provide more nuanced segregation between computing devices, for example, allowing specific types of communications, but blocking all others, depending on how you need to use your computers, printers and other equipment. Communications between your work computer and the Internet may also be restricted for additional security, for example, only allowing contact between the specific servers and computers located on your employer’s network and the work email server, but blocking all other channels of communication. In this fashion, you may lock down your work computer as much as you like in general, but still have the specific access you need to do your job.

What is LateralAccessDevice? It is software that you may install on your own equipment to gain all of the capabilities described above, plus a lot more, with a user interface designed for non-experts to use. We designed our LateralAccessDevice software to bring the feature-rich capabilities of our commercial, enterprise-grade network appliances into the hands of individuals and small-sized and medium-sized organizations with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface and practical suite of features and functions.

LAD: LateralAccessDevice is software that turns a computer chassis into a high-performance, multi-purpose Internet / network tool that combines multi-dimensional firewalling, network monitoring, access control, packet capture, DNS, NAT and a host of other applications into one easy to use, integrated, high-security package. LAD takes you back to before the Internet!