From The EditorSecurity To Go

Joshua Trupin

Today’s workplace can go anywhere. In the past decade, the concept of "your office anywhere" has really taken off. No longer do you have to be present at your desk to do your work. Mobility technologies allow you to be productive on the road, at home, on the train, even in your car during red lights (proceed with caution). It’s truly a wonderful world. Except if you’re an IT pro facing perhaps your greatest challenge: securing and managing devices that can get up and walk away.

Security in the 1980s meant reacting to reports of new viruses by telling people to put their floppies inside plastic bags to keep them away from each other. (No, seriously. When I did this at a former employer, no machines were infected!) If a rogue program did end up infecting a machine, it was contained unless someone walked an infected floppy to the next cubicle. Sometimes it was easier for IT pros to just sneak around and remove everyone’s 5.25" drives when they were out to lunch. The lucky ones had a 10MB hard drive for their data.

In the 1990s, it became progressively harder to catch users who were infecting their own machines because they started to get viruses through the Web. Unlike a decade earlier, you couldn’t protect machines by knocking diskettes out of someone’s hand with a fancy slo-mo special-effects dive anymore.

These days we get a handle on securing the enterprise, distributing group policy, and setting up firewalls, quarantines, and chokepoints. And now what? The enterprise itself starts walking around! Right out the door. So what do you do?

Securing the assets in your office is only half your challenge in today’s IT climate. Any organization is only as strong as its weakest point, and having employees walk around with mobile devices and laptops connected to your network can be begging for trouble. Our lead story this month talks about how to secure mobile devices so that you—the weary administrator—can sleep at night.

Of course, we’ve got much more in this issue. We’re looking at managing regulatory compliance with Exchange Server, network access protection, deploying Terminal Services, Windows PowerShell, SQL Server, and so much more that it would take a whole page to tell you all about it. (Actually two, judging by our Table of Contents.)

What is the most unusual security situation you’ve encountered at your company? Drop by the TechNet Magazine blog ( and join the conversation. Editors are standing by! —Joshua Trupin

Thank you to the following Microsoft technical experts: Alex Balcanquall, Tad Brockway, Anah Cameron, Jeroen de Borst, Michael Higashi, Ryan Hurst, Paul Limont, Sherman Lovell, Michael Murgolo, Shivakumar Seetharaman, John Speare, David Strome, and Jim Truher.

Joshua Trupin

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