Doug Bedell — October 17, 2008, 9:34 am

Security in Dispersion – Functioning Well Over Distances

Don’t know quite where to take this in security terms, but it’s interesting that “homeland security concerns and commuting conditions are creating strong incentives to work away from the office,” says a report on nextgov.com. 

Concerns are growing in strategic centers, like Washington, that having employees centralized in a “secure” facility could be counterproductive in the case of a terrorist attack or traffic jam in the neighborhood. Hence, more employees are doing at least some amount of work from home or other dispersed locations. 

“‘We think of [telework] as adapt and overcome,’ said Capt. Kenneth Barrett, program manager for the Navy’s Task Force Work Life Initiative. ‘From the standpoint of where the Navy is going, the change in tempo, the new missions we’re being asked to undertake, we have to keep looking for innovations for our next, best way to do business. We’re looking for a results-oriented work environment.'”

Results can be gotten on a dispersed as well as a centralized basis.  So the “rhythms” of security may be changing. Work needs to be accomplished securely wherever it is done. Yet a security planner’s job may be extending beyond the front gate. This has been true right along for computer network security. Now dispersion may have implications for preserving security of function as well. An organization may be better able to keep “breathing” if it’s dispersed, not centralized. A mind-bender, possibly, but definitely worth considering. That includes figuring out how collaboration can best be accomplished over distances. For, as much as security,  collaboration remains at the heart of organizations.

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