legal issues with installing work software on home computer

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KyleAAA
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legal issues with installing work software on home computer

Post by KyleAAA » Fri May 25, 2012 10:34 am

I'm not sure this is the correct forum, but here goes. My employer has always had physical RSA keys to use for logging in from home as a security measure. I can't work from home without it. Unfortunately, they are discontinuing the physical keys because they are too expensive. Instead, they want me to install a software RSA key either on my personal phone or home computer. I am not comfortable installing anything work-related on my personal phone or computer. It seems safest to me to just keep everything completely separate. Unfortunately, occasionally something comes up where I need to log in from home. Not often, but it does happen. If I don't have home access, it could possibly (probably not, but possibly) cause an issue.

Is anybody aware of any legal implications of installing a work-related application on a personal device? Could there be any conceivable way they make any sort of claim at all? Even a 0.001% chance is too great for me. I suppose the only alternative would be for them to provide me with a laptop I could install the software one (much more expensive than an RSA fob, but whatever). However, if there is 0.000000000% chance of any liability, I suppose I would be willing to install the software on my home computer. There isn't any monitoring or logging software involved as far as I know. Or am I just being too sensitive?

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by craveonewave » Fri May 25, 2012 10:41 am

Very interesting.

Bottom line: Just because they may or may not have a valid legal claim, does not mean they may not be "grumpy" and pursue a claim. So even if you got it to 0.0000000%, you may still have to litigate to prove it's 0.0000000%.

My two cents: This is going to have to come down to your organization's character with regards to employer/employee relations and then your gut feeling on the issue.

I guess I kind of have given a non-answer, but that's how I'd approach it.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by bottlecap » Fri May 25, 2012 10:42 am

KyleAAA wrote:Is anybody aware of any legal implications of installing a work-related application on a personal device? Could there be any conceivable way they make any sort of claim at all? Even a 0.001% chance is too great for me.
I don't understand what you're concerned about. Who is "they" and what kind of "claim" could they make? Could explain the legal implications that concern you?


Thanks,

JT

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by KyleAAA » Fri May 25, 2012 10:45 am

bottlecap wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:Is anybody aware of any legal implications of installing a work-related application on a personal device? Could there be any conceivable way they make any sort of claim at all? Even a 0.001% chance is too great for me.
I don't understand what you're concerned about. Who is "they" and what kind of "claim" could they make? Could explain the legal implications that concern you?
I know nothing about the issue, which is why I'm hesitant. Better safe than sorry, in my opinion.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Runaway » Fri May 25, 2012 11:12 am

IMO - I don't think you have any more of a legal issue with the soft token than you would have with the use of the hard token (physical key). Lots of companies require the soft tokens in order to work from home. You may be able to get a lot more opinions and some real expert advice from a forum like http://www.computerforum.com/ or http://it.toolbox.com/

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by The Wizard » Fri May 25, 2012 11:30 am

KyleAAA wrote:.....Or am I just being too sensitive?
Being way too sensitive, yes...
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by SimonJester » Fri May 25, 2012 11:50 am

I would not install any work related software on my personal devices. I would not do any work related work on my personal devices. So I would tell my company to provide me with a laptop so I could work from home when needed using their computer...
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by jebmke » Fri May 25, 2012 12:00 pm

Depending on the nature of what you are doing remotely, you might consider setting your computer up as a dual boot machine so that when you are accessing work, you are on a separate system. I am guessing you might be able to do this with VM as well but I'm not very familiar with VMs.

Personally, I wouldn't have any issues with accessing work in a browser environment (browser based email, intranet, hosted app etc) . Beyond that, I'd expect my employer to provide me with a dedicated PC.
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri May 25, 2012 12:19 pm

Some random points:

1) Discovery. If you do company work on your own PC then if the company is involved in a legal issue your personal PC might be subject to discovery. The opponents, and probably your company, could then have access to your private files. You could also lose access to your PC for some period. It's possible that your computer could be subject to discovery even if you do no company work on it but complete separation is likely to have some advantage.
2) Company policies. How do these apply to your personal devices? Could you get into trouble because you don't install the companies preferred anti-viral? Could you get in trouble because you browse to, ahem, blacklisted sites on your personal PC? What if an infection gets into the company network through your PC?

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by KyleAAA » Fri May 25, 2012 12:23 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:Some random points:

1) Discovery. If you do company work on your own PC then if the company is involved in a legal issue your personal PC might be subject to discovery. The opponents, and probably your company, could then have access to your private files. You could also lose access to your PC for some period. It's possible that your computer could be subject to discovery even if you do no company work on it but complete separation is likely to have some advantage.
This is what I'm worried about. Larger companies get involved in lawsuits all the time. You never know.
Epsilon Delta wrote: 2) Company policies. How do these apply to your personal devices? Could you get into trouble because you don't install the companies preferred anti-viral? Could you get in trouble because you browse to, ahem, blacklisted sites on your personal PC? What if an infection gets into the company network through your PC?
I don't think this would be an issue. I would be tunneling through my work desktop to do any work. I suppose it is theoretically possible to infect another machine through a VPN connection but I'm not sure how that would work. Not something I'm worried about since the desktop in question DOES have the corporate anti-virus program on it and they have no way of knowing what sites I visit on my own computer.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by chaz » Fri May 25, 2012 12:24 pm

SimonJester wrote:I would not install any work related software on my personal devices. I would not do any work related work on my personal devices. So I would tell my company to provide me with a laptop so I could work from home when needed using their computer...
This is very good advice.
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by FabLab » Fri May 25, 2012 12:34 pm

SimonJester wrote:I would not install any work related software on my personal devices. I would not do any work related work on my personal devices. So I would tell my company to provide me with a laptop so I could work from home when needed using their computer...
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by cheese_breath » Fri May 25, 2012 12:51 pm

KyleAAA wrote: If I don't have home access, it could possibly (probably not, but possibly) cause an issue.l
SimonJester wrote:I would not install any work related software on my personal devices. I would not do any work related work on my personal devices. So I would tell my company to provide me with a laptop so I could work from home when needed using their computer...
What kind of possible (probably not, but possibly) issue might it cause if you don’t have home access? You need to be able to demonstrate a definite need (not a want) before you ask the company to provide you with a computer. The company’s response to such a demand might range anywhere from requiring you to always work onsite to termination.
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by midareff » Fri May 25, 2012 1:01 pm

I worked from home some evenings/weekends and my report 2's (and I) considered it part of my work requirements. Being able to access my work computer and systems from home was mandatory .... they purchased and installed all required softwares on my computer.

If I had to do that at my expense it would not have happened.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by cheese_breath » Fri May 25, 2012 5:48 pm

midareff wrote:I worked from home some evenings/weekends and my report 2's (and I) considered it part of my work requirements. Being able to access my work computer and systems from home was mandatory .... they purchased and installed all required softwares on my computer.

If I had to do that at my expense it would not have happened.
The real question is does OP's employer consider it part of his work requirements? I grant many companies do. They can save a lot on office space if they don't have to provide cubes for every employee. But there may still be some out there who say "if there's a problem come into work and fix it."
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by tibbitts » Fri May 25, 2012 6:11 pm

FabLab wrote:
SimonJester wrote:I would not install any work related software on my personal devices. I would not do any work related work on my personal devices. So I would tell my company to provide me with a laptop so I could work from home when needed using their computer...
Advice just doesn't get any better than that. Want a clean break? This is how to do it.
Yes, will definitely achieve a clean break - from employment. Seriously, this isn't a realistic approach for many employees today. Certainly some employers may provide a computer and some even provide a cell phone, cell phone service, home internet service, etc. But many don't, so the only choice may be to go into work (with no compensation for extra time or commuting cost) or use your own devices for access. Especially in today's economy, most employees aren't in sufficient demand to simply declare that they refuse to use their own devices, supplied at their own cost, for work.

Paul

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by rustymutt » Fri May 25, 2012 6:44 pm

Since it's their network you're connecting to, I'd tell that's you've not a snowballs chance in hell of getting them to change the policy. To many threats to corporate networks come from home PC's and personal devices. These software RSA have to be there to protect the corporate assets. They don't compromise on security, and shouldn't. You might ask them to provide you a dedicated laptop for working from home. Corporate security is as important nowadays, as any thing mega companies do.
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Easy Rhino » Fri May 25, 2012 7:06 pm

At my own company, the IT compartment would blow a gasket if I was trying to connect a personal computer to their network in any way (I have a work laptop I commute with, and we still use physical tokens).

I think you might be over worrying, though. It sounds like you've already been using your home pc to connect to work, albeit with the physical token? It sounds like you're using a sort of remote desktop connection where all the 'work' is done on your work PC and you're just sharing the screen?

First, what are the commandments and options coming down from IT and management?
- "You must be able to log in from home"?
- "You must use the RSA tokenstuff when you log in"?
- "You must switch to the software token program" (you can't keep your physical one?)
- "We won't equip you with a laptop".?

I wouldn't, personally, worry about the risk that my personal PC would get caught up in a lawsuit. I would have a slight, but serious, concern that connecting my personal PC to the work network would cause the department to snoop on my porn collection and online gambling history, although in a remote desktop regime, that seems less likely.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Muchtolearn » Fri May 25, 2012 7:13 pm

Most companies use computers that you can detach from a docking station and take home. I would try that. If you make demands that others don't or you appear recalcitrant, you may lose your job.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by LadyGeek » Fri May 25, 2012 7:19 pm

This is a time bomb waiting to go off. As muchtolearn says - What's preventing you from borrowing a laptop at work and taking it home when you need one?

Read your IT policy on use of company assets. My employer clearly states that it has unfettered access to everything you do. Phone calls, emails, anything stored on your PC or network is theirs. Period. The purpose of passwords is not to protect your privacy, but to protect sensitive company information. You don't define what's sensitive information or not - that's for the lawyers.

Now, their sensitive information is on your PC. They need to access your PC to make sure that nothing has happened to corrupt the information. So, they want rights to inspect your PC's data and programs.

It doesn't matter if you are using remote access. Anytime you view a file with a web browser or open an Office application remotely, the data is on your PC (in the temporary cache folder).
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri May 25, 2012 7:20 pm

Software RSA is a sham*. If the company cared about the security of their network they would continue to use the RSA hardware, or something like Google two-factor id.

* because it relies on an untrusted device, the home PC, to keep a secret.
Last edited by Epsilon Delta on Fri May 25, 2012 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by brad_g » Fri May 25, 2012 7:21 pm

Use Remote Desktop (or VNC or other desktop sharing facilities - check with your IT department to see what they favor). All the software remains on you work PC and you just have a "window" into that machine from home. Unless your work involves developing real-time applications, remote desktop should meet your needs.

There are many upsides: no software to install on your home machine (other than the remote desktop software if not already present). No duplication of data, version issues, etc.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri May 25, 2012 7:28 pm

brad_g wrote:Use Remote Desktop (or VNC or other desktop sharing facilities - check with your IT department to see what they favor). All the software remains on you work PC and you just have a "window" into that machine from home. Unless your work involves developing real-time applications, remote desktop should meet your needs.

There are many upsides: no software to install on your home machine (other than the remote desktop software if not already present). No duplication of data, version issues, etc.
But remote desktop has a big downside -- it uses JPEG to compress the screen image. JPEG has no support for text or sharp edges so the screen ends up looking like your avatar.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by btenny » Fri May 25, 2012 7:31 pm

I'm with you that this is a real issue all over and may be more complex than anyone is giving it credit. I not sure I would put the company RSA key on my personel computer. I would tell my boss verbalIy that I am concerned that the software RSA key and secure data may get compromised or stolen when used on my home computer. How about the secure data on your home computer? What sort of procedure is going to make that data safe? Do your kids use your home machine? Your wife? Are they and you always diligent in which web site they visit? Will they secure your companies data? Don't make it a big deal with your boss, just tell hime/her and ask if the company has some sort of libility waver if stuff gets goofed up......... He may be mad and not like your attitude or he may agree, you just need to see how it goes. Tread softly......

I am of the opinion that lots of big companies are setting up their employees for big law loss suits and other issues when losses occur when these people use their own computer stuff.

Then if and when that home computer need arises you have made your issues known and they will pay you overtime to go to work to fix the problem in the middle of the night. If they are unwilling to do this then I suggest they can wait until the next day to get the issue resolved....

Bill

PS.... Remember the Apple engineer that left his prototype Iphone that he was using on his own time at the coffee shop got fired and is embrolled in lawsuits. Companies and laws don't blame bad procedures, they mess with peoples lives......

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by roymeo » Fri May 25, 2012 7:45 pm

Could the OP clairify the "RSA software"?

My initial understanding would be that this is like the Symantec Validation & ID Protection "VIP Access" app that I have installed on my personal phone and use to log in to some work systems. You install the app, give the Credential ID to the IT Department, and then when you want to log in, you open the app and besides the other login info, you have to type the 6-digit Security Code that the app displays--that code changes every 30 seconds.

That app is available in the app store to anyone. Anyone here reading this post with an iOS, Android, or RIM device can go download that app right now and check it out. I don't work for Symantec and it has nothing to do with the company i work for.

As an alternative to using that app at my company, I know there's also a browser plugin option, or you can go get a physical "keychain" dongle that has a LED screen that displays the string of 6 numbers when you push the button.

Is this the sort of thing the OP's question is about? I assume so, as he's mentioning a physical dongle that can be replaced with either browser plugin or app.
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by brad_g » Fri May 25, 2012 7:51 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
brad_g wrote:Use Remote Desktop (or VNC or other desktop sharing facilities - check with your IT department to see what they favor). All the software remains on you work PC and you just have a "window" into that machine from home. Unless your work involves developing real-time applications, remote desktop should meet your needs.

There are many upsides: no software to install on your home machine (other than the remote desktop software if not already present). No duplication of data, version issues, etc.
But remote desktop has a big downside -- it uses JPEG to compress the screen image. JPEG has no support for text or sharp edges so the screen ends up looking like your avatar.
I don't think that's the case (JPEG compression) but anyway, I've never noticed any issue in 100's of hours of using Remote Desktop. It's basically identical to the local display to that point that it's easy to confuse which desktop is remote and which is local.

Maybe you've only seen it in a low-bandwidth mode? There are options for how rich the display fidelity is which you can customize to suit your bandwidth. These days with decent broadband connections the norm you can typically max out the fidelity.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by bertilak » Fri May 25, 2012 8:31 pm

I would do whatever your management tells you to do. Be sure the IT department is involved. I am sure they have a well thought out policy. Many of the alternatives listed above are possible scenarios that they would support.

I worked from home for quite some time before I retired. I used a company supplied laptop with software they supplied to set up the VPN connection. This was not a virtual desktop situation. Once connected, it was just as if I was using that laptop at my desk at the office. I did quite a bit of software development right on that laptop. But my point is, the company accepted, and expected, this arrangement. They provided the equipment and software. Go with what they provide.
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by getRichSlower » Fri May 25, 2012 8:34 pm

tibbitts wrote:
FabLab wrote:
SimonJester wrote:I would not install any work related software on my personal devices. I would not do any work related work on my personal devices. So I would tell my company to provide me with a laptop so I could work from home when needed using their computer...
Advice just doesn't get any better than that. Want a clean break? This is how to do it.
Yes, will definitely achieve a clean break - from employment. Seriously, this isn't a realistic approach for many employees today. Certainly some employers may provide a computer and some even provide a cell phone, cell phone service, home internet service, etc. But many don't, so the only choice may be to go into work (with no compensation for extra time or commuting cost) or use your own devices for access. Especially in today's economy, most employees aren't in sufficient demand to simply declare that they refuse to use their own devices, supplied at their own cost, for work.

Paul
On the flip side, I read about one company who installed some type of logging software on their employees' personal computers. They used that to find out who was viewing other job openings and fired people based on that. A decent laptop can be had these days for under a thousand dollars. Unless you're working at a five person startup, a company that can't afford to buy basic office supplies is probably going to have trouble paying its employees as well. If they demand you use your own laptop, that should be a red flag.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by getRichSlower » Fri May 25, 2012 8:43 pm

rustymutt wrote:Since it's their network you're connecting to, I'd tell that's you've not a snowballs chance in hell of getting them to change the policy. To many threats to corporate networks come from home PC's and personal devices. These software RSA have to be there to protect the corporate assets. They don't compromise on security, and shouldn't. You might ask them to provide you a dedicated laptop for working from home. Corporate security is as important nowadays, as any thing mega companies do.
If company IT allows you to access the corporate networks from a personal computer, either they don't give a damn about security anyway or else they're completely incompetent.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by bertilak » Fri May 25, 2012 9:00 pm

getRichSlower wrote: If company IT allows you to access the corporate networks from a personal computer, either they don't give a damn about security anyway or else they're completely incompetent.
As I outlined in my post above, my company allowed me to access their corporate network from home and that company is one of the most sophisticated IT companies in the world. I believe they understand that there is *no* way to ensure perfect security -- whether from my home or even if I was physically located in my office.

Companies need to balance security with the ability to actually get the job done. In my case, I could not do my job as effectively from the office as I could from home. I collaborated with people from Europe, East Coast and Central USA and Asia. I was not about to move a cot into my office so I could be available for all those time zones, nor was I going to drive back and forth to the office multiple (and various) times each day. By working from home I could be much more flexible.

(When I did occasionally drive in to the office I saw it was being used as a storage room. Once I went in and they had moved "me" to a different office and changed the locks!)
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by getRichSlower » Fri May 25, 2012 9:12 pm

bertilak wrote:
getRichSlower wrote: If company IT allows you to access the corporate networks from a personal computer, either they don't give a damn about security anyway or else they're completely incompetent.
As I outlined in my post above, my company allowed me to access their corporate network from home and that company is one of the most sophisticated IT companies in the world.
I think you misread what I wrote. I said smart companies don't allow the use of personal computers, not that they don't allow people to work from home.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by investor1 » Fri May 25, 2012 9:25 pm

getRichSlower wrote:I read about one company who installed some type of logging software on their employees' personal computers. They used that to find out who was viewing other job openings and fired people based on that.
Source?

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by rustymutt » Fri May 25, 2012 9:37 pm

bertilak wrote:
getRichSlower wrote: If company IT allows you to access the corporate networks from a personal computer, either they don't give a damn about security anyway or else they're completely incompetent.
As I outlined in my post above, my company allowed me to access their corporate network from home and that company is one of the most sophisticated IT companies in the world. I believe they understand that there is *no* way to ensure perfect security -- whether from my home or even if I was physically located in my office.

Companies need to balance security with the ability to actually get the job done. In my case, I could not do my job as effectively from the office as I could from home. I collaborated with people from Europe, East Coast and Central USA and Asia. I was not about to move a cot into my office so I could be available for all those time zones, nor was I going to drive back and forth to the office multiple (and various) times each day. By working from home I could be much more flexible.

(When I did occasionally drive in to the office I saw it was being used as a storage room. Once I went in and they had moved "me" to a different office and changed the locks!)
Corporations have many different network levels for access. Sales, technical, operations, administration, management, all can have different security levels, and parameters., depending on the database and how secure it must be. Many corps now have VPN servers setup with different access levels of security based off what the need is for off site access to data needed for the professionals. Many companies also offer free security software for the home users. They know and understand that keeping their employees home networks clean, helps them. Firewalls also have grown incredibly intelligent.
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by interplanetjanet » Fri May 25, 2012 9:43 pm

rustymutt wrote:Firewalls also have grown incredibly intelligent.
And (unrelated to this discussion, mostly) consequently more and more difficult to troubleshoot when weird stuff goes wrong. If one more protocol "fix-up" goes feral on me I swear I'm going to take an axe to some networking equipment.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by investomajic » Fri May 25, 2012 10:08 pm

I have run into a situation similar to yours and have solved the issue by running a VM (virtual machine) on my home computer and setting up the VM with a Windows license (assuming you are running Windows) that was purchased by my company. I then use this VM only for work related purposes so it is essentially a work issued PC, only virtual.

I am with you. I always keep everything separate. I would think most employers would understand this as most probably wouldn't like you installing your personal related software on your work PC (iTunes, Games, etc, etc.)

Maybe ask them if they will buy you a windows license for home? I thought you may have mentioned you were a C# developer in another thread? If so, do you have access to a work issued MSDN account? If so, use one of your windows product keys from that when setting up your VM since it will be 100% for work related purposes.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by KyleAAA » Fri May 25, 2012 10:22 pm

To clarify:

* I cannot use any other means to connect to the company network. Remote Desktop won't work. I HAVE to use the RSA key to log in. It's part of the password. There is no way to work from home without it. There is also not a browser plugin option. It has to be an application installed on my phone or home computer.

* There is no chance I will get fired if I refuse. Besides, the job market is so hot that even if I were, I could find a new job in less than a week. I'm in a position of power here.

* It's not a "requirement" that engineers work from home, however, we deploy code very often. So if you break something, it's possible the code will be live within a few hours. In that situation, you have to fix your stuff. Period. That's where the potential working from home comes in. Additionally, if I need to be home for a repairman or something of that nature, it's nice to be able to work from home. But that's a convenience for me, not the employer. Of course, if I never broke anything it wouldn't be an issue....

* Company pays for my home internet access, so it's obvious they expect some work from home every once in a while. However, they have supplied no laptop yet, so...

* I was told they will no longer support physical RSA devices, so it's either the software device or I can't work from home at all.

* I was told I will be getting a company laptop soon, but no word whether that will be 6 days or 6 months. I would guess closer to 6 months.

* At a previous job, my employer was sued by a competitor. We each had to sit down with a lawyer and one of the questions was "have you accessed any company data from home in the last few months." The implication was that if you did, you might be in for a lot of hassle. This is where my problem originated. I don't want any hassle. I'm not really worried about security or snooping.

* Judging from their reaction when I brought it up, I'm pretty sure they've never even considered the possibility that somebody might not be comfortable installing something on their hardware.

* The Windows VM idea is good, although we aren't an MSDN member anymore and I don't know how willing they would be to pay for a Windows license considering I will already be getting a new laptop in the next few months.

I think I've just convinced myself to refuse and wait until I get the company laptop.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri May 25, 2012 10:41 pm

Have you spec'd the minimum computer that you could tolerate for remote access?
You can sometimes pick up an old desktop dirt cheap or even free, perhaps even from the your IT department if your companies been around long enough to have an upgrade cycle.

brad_g
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by brad_g » Fri May 25, 2012 10:45 pm

KyleAAA wrote:To clarify:

* I cannot use any other means to connect to the company network. Remote Desktop won't work. I HAVE to use the RSA key to log in. It's part of the password. There is no way to work from home without it.
It sounds like you're relating Remote Desktop to the network connection or did you mean it won't work because it doesn't support something you need to do?

You likely already know, but the process is: connect to your company network using the RSA key, etc. Once you have a connection established you can now launch Remote Desktop (if on a Windows platform) and connect your PC at work. Your PC at work has to be enabled for Remote Desktop connections.

Laptop would be a great way to go but judging by what I hear of your needs, being able to enter a quick Remote Desktop session would be a less cumbersome solution.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by KyleAAA » Fri May 25, 2012 10:49 pm

brad_g wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:To clarify:

* I cannot use any other means to connect to the company network. Remote Desktop won't work. I HAVE to use the RSA key to log in. It's part of the password. There is no way to work from home without it.
It sounds like you're relating Remote Desktop to the network connection or did you mean it won't work because it doesn't support something you need to do?

You likely already know, but the process is: connect to your company network using the RSA key, etc. Once you have a connection established you can now launch Remote Desktop (if on a Windows platform) and connect your PC at work. Your PC at work has to be enabled for Remote Desktop connections.

Laptop would be a great way to go but judging by what I hear of your needs, being able to enter a quick Remote Desktop session would be a less cumbersome solution.
I can't connect without the RSA key, so I wouldn't even be able to get to the point of using Remote Desktop. But the preferred client is a Citrix client, which works much better than RDC for me. Doesn't matter without the RSA key, though.

mnaspbh
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by mnaspbh » Fri May 25, 2012 11:22 pm

The risks associated with discovery ought to be more than enough to keep one from using personal devices to access a corporate network.

You may also want to check out the licensing/contractual terms your company has with respect to all software they've purchased or licensed. Everywhere I've worked has had a clause in the employment agreement (explicitly, or implicitly through a "you agree to comply with all licensing terms..." clause) where the company or third parties (e.g., BSA) has the right to audit all equipment that's ever connected to the corporate network. Odds are that you'd rather not have someone do an audit of your personal computer, if for no other reason than they would probably do the audit at a remote location and you'd lose access to your property during that time.

If you're already in line to get a work-issued laptop, let your manager know you can't work from home until it's issued.

waitforit
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by waitforit » Fri May 25, 2012 11:26 pm

If you are a programmer and write your own code outside of work this is a huge potential issue. Especially if you are trying to start up another gig on the side.

I like the VM idea. Setup a VMware / virtualbox instance and delete the running copy after each use.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri May 25, 2012 11:34 pm

KyleAAA wrote:* At a previous job, my employer was sued by a competitor. We each had to sit down with a lawyer and one of the questions was "have you accessed any company data from home in the last few months." The implication was that if you did, you might be in for a lot of hassle. This is where my problem originated. I don't want any hassle. I'm not really worried about security or snooping.
And if you answered "yes, but only from my company provided laptop" to this question, there's no guarantee that the lawyers won't still ask for all of the computers in your home. Since the laptop has USB ports and other methods of transferring data, there is nothing to stop the lawyers from arguing that relevant data may be found on the other machines in your home. Additionally, even if you answered "no" to this question, if it's a criminal case instead of a civil case, your machines might still be seized.

So just go on the assumption that legal proceedings will always be a risk and safeguard your personal data with redundant backup solutions that will hopefully survive even the most zealous legal team.

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daytona084
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by daytona084 » Fri May 25, 2012 11:44 pm

I can't believe I am reading this. A company that expects employees to "work from home" but does not provide a laptop computer? Just tell them your home PC died. Or has a nasty virus.

natureexplorer
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by natureexplorer » Sat May 26, 2012 12:03 am

I think you are being paranoid.

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cheese_breath
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by cheese_breath » Sat May 26, 2012 5:03 am

natureexplorer wrote:I think you are being paranoid.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I think it's always best to play it safe.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Sidney
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Sidney » Sat May 26, 2012 6:46 am

Mudpuppy wrote: So just go on the assumption that legal proceedings will always be a risk and safeguard your personal data with redundant backup solutions that will hopefully survive even the most zealous legal team.
I think it is important to distinguish between risk of loss and risk of disclosure (access). Protecting against risk of loss is not difficult. Securing data from others (private or public, e.g. authorities) could be different. Also, with respect to the latter, there is a distinction between legal and technical. It might be easy to technically "hide" data from discovery but less easy to legally hide it.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

natureexplorer
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by natureexplorer » Sat May 26, 2012 11:45 am

cheese_breath wrote:
natureexplorer wrote:I think you are being paranoid.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I think it's always best to play it safe.
Do you have an example of where this actually happened? I would think that businesses have more profitable things to do.

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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat May 26, 2012 1:56 pm

Sidney wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote: So just go on the assumption that legal proceedings will always be a risk and safeguard your personal data with redundant backup solutions that will hopefully survive even the most zealous legal team.
I think it is important to distinguish between risk of loss and risk of disclosure (access). Protecting against risk of loss is not difficult. Securing data from others (private or public, e.g. authorities) could be different. Also, with respect to the latter, there is a distinction between legal and technical. It might be easy to technically "hide" data from discovery but less easy to legally hide it.
I deal with risk of disclosure by being absolutely boring. The only thing to protect is the standard identity theft and fiscal related items. But even encrypting those does not protect them against the legal discovery process. They could just get a court order for your encryption password.

My point was to stop fearing the lawsuits because there's many things the lawyers could do to get access to your data and worrying about it isn't going to help much. Just make sure the lawyers can't destroy your data in the process. And if you are at high risk, having a lawyer of your own on retainer might not be such a bad idea. Head off the opponents lawyers at the proverbial pass as it were.

getRichSlower
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by getRichSlower » Sun May 27, 2012 1:53 am

Mudpuppy wrote: And if you answered "yes, but only from my company provided laptop" to this question, there's no guarantee that the lawyers won't still ask for all of the computers in your home. Since the laptop has USB ports and other methods of transferring data, there is nothing to stop the lawyers from arguing that relevant data may be found on the other machines in your home. Additionally, even if you answered "no" to this question, if it's a criminal case instead of a civil case, your machines might still be seized.

So just go on the assumption that legal proceedings will always be a risk and safeguard your personal data with redundant backup solutions that will hopefully survive even the most zealous legal team.
I view a company wanting my personal computer as no different than wanting to enter my my house and rummage through my bedroom drawers. There's absolutely no way that I'ld consent to either event until the police showed up at my door with a warrant based on probable cause.

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Duckie
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Re: legal issues with installing work software on home compu

Post by Duckie » Sun May 27, 2012 3:19 pm

The OP has been using a physical access key for some time. Now his company wants him to use a software access key. As far as I can see, the liability is exactly the same. Access is access. If lawyers could go after his computer if he used a software key, they could go after it if he used a physical key. If it didn't bother him before, why now? What's the big difference? What am I missing?

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