It's precisely this concern that prompted insurance and finance company Lutheran Brotherhood in Minneapolis to install firewalls on notebooks belonging to its 1,800-strong field force earlier this year, said information security manager Jay Dybdahl.
Such firewalls "become very critical when a home user is always connected to the Internet via [Digital Subscriber Lines] or some other [persistent] connection," Dybdahl said.
"The fact is, if we're going to allow access to corporate networks from staff at home, there are going to have to be new procedures followed that protect those processors," said Cathy Hotkka, vice president of information technology at the National Retail Federation, a retail trade association in Washington.
Controlling home users is a matter of faith, said Rick Waugh, a product manager at Telus Corp., a telecommunications company in Burnaby, British Columbia. "You put rules in place and hope they follow them," he said.