Higher risk means better strategies needed
SECURITY| June 25, 2012, 11:28 a.m.
Information is the lifeblood of business. Valuable corporate data is available to employees, business partners and contractors. It is accessed locally, in the cloud and virtual environments, providing instant access to non-public sensitive information. Making matters worse, employees typically do not ask permission to load third-party software or applications on their laptops and mobile phones, devices that are connected to their companies' networks and data stores.
The convenience and business value of "information anywhere" comes with risk. While companies want to support devices, software and applications that enable employees to get the job done, they must do so while carefully monitoring and managing business risks related to the use of information and IT.
“One solution is information security everywhere, but this is impractical and unachievable. Organisations need to determine when convenience results in too much risk and what should be done to limit risks. This is a major challenge, especially when you consider that most organisations cannot answer the simple question, ‘What is our information risk today?’” says Bruce Goodwill, Sales Director – EMEA, LATAM and Australia at AVG.
A good place to start, he says, is to treat online security the same way that businesses treat corporate governance and brand protection, and make it a boardroom issue. “This is not just a technology debate,” he points out. In addition, companies should protect, and keep protection updated for all computers and mobile computing devices that are brought in or taken home by staff, contractors, clients and visitors. Another measure is to promote strong password management, with password and username combinations that are not easy to guess and which include a combination of letters and numbers.
“Many businesses assume that because they have security software installed on their PCs, they are protected. However, the threat landscape is growing exponentially. In addition to increasing malware attacks via the Web, companies need to be wary of mobile devices that connect to their networks, and the risks posed by social networks and disgruntled employees. In order to manage this, organisations should begin by defining the business risk from the top down and then prioritising them,” Goodwill says.
As a basis, an effective security software suite will keep the bulk of threats at bay on a company’s PCs and laptops. Some, like AVG Internet Security, provide additional defences against attacks via social networks through products like Linkscanner and Online Shield. This also applies to security software for mobile devices. Goodwill points out that with the number of mobile devices entering company networks today, mobile security software has become as essential as PC and server protection.
MORE SECURITY NEWS
Kaspersky Lab: Emerging Threats in the APT World - Predictions for 2015Kaspersky Lab experts have released a list of the top emerging threats in the APT world. Read More
“Visibility Void” represents potential threat to enterprisesCompanies must stay on top of a growing pool of cyber-threats says Andrew Potgieter, security solutions director at Westcon. Read More
The hackers’ bounty - how much do cybercriminals make from innocent users?Cybercriminals could be raking in profits 20 times greater than the cost of their attacks, according to figures compiled by Kaspersky Lab experts. Read More
Regin: a malicious platform capable of spying on GSM networksKaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team has published its research on Regin – the first cyber-attack platform known to penetrate and monitor GSM networks in addition to other “standard” spying tasks. Read More
Security a top priority as Africa moves to LTESecuring the network is a top priority for telcos and carriers as LTE becomes increasingly mainstream across Africa, says Fortinet. Read More
Barclays ropes in ICT taskforce in anti-fraud warBarclays Bank of Botswana (BBB) has roped in experts in the field of Information Technology and cybercrime to give weight to its annual fraud awareness month. Read More
Kaspersky Lab: Most businesses use third-party services to manage virtualisationLess than one-third of businesses keep their virtualisation servers on-premises and managed entirely by their own internal IT staff, according to a Kaspersky Lab survey of 3,900 IT professionals worldwide. Read More
Cisco: Employee complacency increases riskResearch released by Cisco shows that critical company data is at risk in South Africa as a result of organisations focusing IT security policies and resources more on external threats and not enough on the threat from within. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.