By Traver Gruen-Kennedy
The business world is on the move, and the insurance industry is no exception. Conducting business away from the officewhether at home, a customer site, or a hotel roomis more and more commonplace.
Mobile workers such as claims adjusters and independent agents need secure, fast, instant and continuous access to business applications and data (the same information that is available back at the office) to remain productive and responsive to customers.
For mobility to reach its full potential, however, access to information and applications must break free from its wires.
Enterprises that fail to support mobile workers access needs incur a big loss in productivity, while wireless access to the on-demand enterprise can measurably increase it. A wide range of industries already supports wireless access to some degree to capitalize on this strategic productivity advantage. Going wireless also increases the value of their existing IT investments by increasing their utility and availability.
Increasingly, wireless local area network (WLAN) hotspotspublic, wireless access in places like airports and hotelsare becoming a popular option for business users to log on to the company network. However, limitations with broadcast range and issues with security and eavesdropping arise from the “lowest common denominator” approach to security implementation for these hotspots.
Wireless technologies also broadcast in all directions, therefore causing inherent security risks. As a result, attackers might conceivably intercept data being sent to authorized users, or hackers could anonymously act as participants on the wireless network.
The right solution must provide intrinsic security that delivers a solid infrastructure for enhancing network, device and individual security for an organizations data and mobile workforce.
Companies stand to reap substantial benefits from their mobility strategy if they can effectively deliver real-time remote access to business-critical applications and data. This would enable employees to access these with any device and provide bulletproof security for sensitive data with secure sockets layer/transport layer security (SSL/TLS) support.
To take full advantage of wireless technologies, it is critical that mobile users have access to rich, full applications and data in their original, familiar formatnot “skimmed” versions with limited functionality. There should be no need for costly and time-consuming application re-writes, mobile middleware or infrastructure upgrades.