Archive for October, 2010

IT managers must consider security before introducing new systems

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

We’ve just conducted a survey to discover what IT managers priorities are for 2011, and it looks like unified communications and MPLS will be seeing a greater take up. There are good business benefits to be obtained in both these developments, the simplification in infrastructure, the leveraging of data and voice data and pushing the increased data load over MPLS are becoming vital to maintain competitiveness.  As with any technologies, there are risks associated with implementation and it is important that companies build security in from the planning stage.

12 per cent of the 250 IT managers questioned said that they expected to be implementing a unified communications system in the next year. Unified communication can be a great aid to productivity by bringing together various communication tools such as IM, chat, click-to-call, video and VOIP calls, improving work flow and business efficiency. It does mean that new ports and protocols must be used which can make networks vulnerable if the right precautions and protection are not put in place.  Recent figures released show how companies can find themselves vulnerable to Toll Fraud and if the right gateway protection is not implemented, the IP PBX is as vulnerable as any other server which no responsible IT manager would allow.

10 per cent of IT managers asked were planning to bring in a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network over the next year. In some cases, this can mean restructuring the corporate network. Again, there are important considerations involved in such a restructure. How will users access the Internet? Via one gateway? Will they be able to bypass security processes if routing is not correctly set up? Perhaps the MPLS is being implemented by the company’s ISP, in which case, is the business confident in the ISP’s own security processes? Implementing a network restructure without first considering the security implications can have drastic consequences for the company in the long term.

In the next few years, these technologies are going to bring massive advantages to the companies that deploy them. IT Departments are going to have to move with this change, assessing the risks and providing the right protection to ensure their company is not vulnerable.

The importance of securing your businesses email archive

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The ease with which emails can be exchanged – and the propensity for employees to have inboxes overflowing with urgent calls for their attention – should not distract businesses from the importance of keeping the huge amount of data that they send and receive secure. Where businesses would painstakingly file written correspondence in previous years, they now must construct a similar system for their electronic correspondence, with emails that are being sent and received being archived in real-time.

Email archiving is compulsory for some businesses, that have to keep old emails for compliance reasons, but all businesses should have an archiving system which makes correspondence quick and easy to find and that keeps business and personal data secure. UK regulators, such as the Information Commissioner and the FSA can and will come down heavily on businesses that breach data security in an way, whilst also holding businesses to account if they do not prove that they have an adequate email archiving system in place. So, what are businesses to do?

We have produced a free guide for IT managers , which details the various merits of the options available. On site archiving, for example, is the traditional method of storing email usually predicated by company policy that does not allow off-site storage, whereas increasingly popular cloud-based archiving provides a resilient, off-site solution without upfront costs and is usually cheaper.

Businesses opting for on-site storage should consider factors such as: the size and capacity of the data store; the physical security of the system; and ensuring that there are back-up processes in place. Those looking at implementing a cloud-based system need to be confident in the long-term feasibility of the company that the business is using for data storage and its security procedures. The guide provides comprehensive advice about what questions to ask before trusting valuable data to a third party system or corporation.

We launched our own cloud-based archiving service this past August. Based on Webroot’s® Emailing Archiving Service, it is fully managed and offers unlimited email storage combined with the ability to search and retrieve emails quickly.

For more details on the cloud-based services that Redscan provides, or to download the free guide please visit our website.

Cybercrime declared a “new and growing” threat by the Home Secretary

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The UK Government is about to launch a new National Security Strategy which outlines attacks on computer networks as one of the largest threats to national security, according to comments made by Home Secretary Theresa May.

In her comments to the BBC, the Home Secretary describes the danger posed by cyber threats as “new and growing”, which is only partly true. Yes the threat is growing, but no, the threat is not new. The first computer virus was created in 1986, the first spam email to be identified was as early as 1978, and  the first sustained cyber attack on a country was 2007.

There have been repeated calls for international co-operation to fight cybercrime, which is now a global industry – one without borders and with the flexibility to set up shop in a multitude of nations simultaneously. Countries have tried to make an impact on an individual level – for example the FBI made over 100 arrests a few weeks ago – but there can be no long-term solution without major international co-operation.

It is interesting that the UK Government seems to be taking the threat of cybercrime more seriously now, especially when you consider the spending review currently underway. Let’s hope that action is taken as a result of the strategy and that it is long term and persistent.