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Bring Your Own Devices Policies and Thin Client Technology

This is an interesting trend, and with the availability of thin clients and server hosted desktops (eg: VMware OpenView) it is possible to let employees use their own laptops yet never have any corporate data on them, as the data can stay on the desktop server in the data center.

More Offices Let Workers Choose Their Own Devices (NY Times)

Sun tried to do this with thin clients a few years ago, but wireless networking technology was not as robust then, and when the device is tied to a physical cable it does not work as well.

Imagine the improved security if the laptop you used for work never actually had any corporate data on it, but instead only had virtual private network (VPN) links and a thin client to access a virtual desktop in the company data center where all your files and work data lived. If your laptop got stolen, the VPN keys on it could be marked invalid at the server side, and the only loss is the physical laptop – no data lost at all.

Imagine the greater comfort and usability if users could pick their preferred laptop and install the software they liked, because whatever is running on their laptop cannot get to the virtual desktop with their pristine corporate information. Security officers and users both happier and perhaps more productive, and risk analysts are probably jumping for joy.

I’d also wager more people pick Apple and Alienware devices.

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