Since Sarbanes-Oxley, there has been a lot of buzz about "compliance" and the hoops IT must jump through to ensure its adherence. But everybody views it differently. One organization demands all PCs are locked down completely, another one keeps the environment wide open and resets to a golden image when issues occur, and yet another has different policies for laptops and desktops or different polices depending on the end user’s functional role within the organization. Many argue that there is no such thing as privacy on company’s computer, and others insist that there are privacy issues to be considered. Regardless, these policies create tension between IT personnel and end users. And since more and more people are telecommuting, it is very difficult to keep everything as restrictive as management would like. Many enterprise level organizations have conceded the fact that the corporate PC, while primarily a tool to conduct business, is also the same device used for “personal computing” and separating these two uses may not be necessary. This allows employees to use their PC for both business and personal needs. With this approach, however, what should be the role of tech support and how is corporate compliance enforced?
Maintaining "blacklists" or "whitelists" for unauthorized and authorized applications can be time consuming. Since fluctuations between blacklists and whitelists occur frequently, flexible application lockdown rules based upon groups, connectivity status, application, and time of day would best support the needs of the end user, the system administrator and the company. Configurable compliance policy support would help to eliminate critical problems that might occur if, say for example a laptop is stolen. If the laptop isn’t connected to the corporate network, specified data and/or applications cannot be accessed. Or, to disable iTunes or IM during business hours.
So what is the norm today and can an automated method for managing privileges help your company protect itself if complete lockdown is not the ideal approach?