Roadrunners and Sale Agents RAS Dialups







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Companies selling (or reselling) goods, no matter what their core business and market area, have either roadrunner or sale-agent RAS dialups—excluding, of course, those start-ups and Internet-only shops (where, by the way, you could find other types of dialups).

Roadrunners are the offspring of last decade's IT evolution: They use GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and UMTS phones for their mobile offices, as well as wireless access, and, of course, the company's PSTN dialups. For this chapter, we are interested only in this last typology, the PSTN roadrunners.

These guys and gals need to connect to a company's LAN when staying at hotels or other locations where they do not have an Internet link, so they can access their company's intranet or file server and perform other kinds of activities.

Sales-agents are a little bit different. They prefer to send orders from their home or small local office, and they often work for more than one company (multi-agents) since their job is to visit buyers and sell stocks of goods, no matter what the goods are. They go to the buyer for a company and show the products they have to sell. These products could come from supplier A, B, or C.

Consequently, they do not need to connect to the supplier company's file server. They simply want to connect to the supplier's mainframe, launch their web-based application, and send their orders quickly, so they receive their money at the end of the month, when billing and invoicing are processed by all of the suppliers they work for. They commonly make quick transactions and transmit only small amounts of data, although, if the suppliers communicate with them via email, they may be authorized to use the company's mail server for email communications.

In both cases, neither set of users are experienced. Roadrunners can be from marketing, management, sales, and so on, whereas sales-agents are often not directly employed by the company and use their personal PCs to conduct business.

These categories of workers are "always on the run" and generally do not follow security policies and best practices. Consequently, the potential for very weak username/ password pairs is quite high.

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