From the Wires
While You Are Away For The Holidays, Who Has Access To Your Network and Data?
GFI Software warns that IT security complacency and lax access and device policies over the holiday shutdown are ripe for exploitation by cybercriminals
By: PR Newswire
Dec. 18, 2012 09:10 AM
CLEARWATER, Fla., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- GFI Software™ today released guidelines for businesses ahead of the end of year holiday period, traditionally a time when many office-based businesses close for the festive season, leaving IT departments unmanned and key IT systems at heightened risk of hacking and denial of service attacks, malware infections and unauthorized access.
This year brings the added challenge of end-user devices being used to remotely access company resources, in particular email, following a surge in sales of iOS®, Android™ and Windows® 8-based tablets and smartphones. An unprecedented number of users will remotely access company resources for the first time – with varying levels of knowledge and care – using devices with varying levels of security in place to protect the user, the data and the connection into the network.
"The holiday season traditionally poses a big challenge for organizations of all sizes, as the need to monitor and maintain IT systems has to be balanced against the need for staff to take time off," said Phil Bousfield, GM Infrastructure, at GFI Software. "However, IT staff face additional challenges, as not only do they need to consider the reoccurring threat of networks and systems being targeted during the quiet holiday period, but also the risk posed by employee devices being used for remote access."
The "bring your own device" (BYOD) culture within many organizations is set for massive uptake following record sales of tablets and smartphones this holiday season. Global tablet shipments in 2012 are set to reach 87.7 million units, according to analyst firm IDC, while RBC Capital predicts that 30 million iPad® and iPad Mini® units alone will be sold during the holidays – double the number sold during last year's holiday season.
"This wave of new devices will undoubtedly bring with it a surge in users accessing corporate IT resources from non-company equipment, with varying levels of security in place. What might seem like a useful productivity device can in fact be a security flaw and a route into your network just waiting to be exploited," added Bousfield.
Combined with the added risk of external network intrusion, malware infections and natural disasters, such as power outages, burst pipes and burglary, the risks are higher than ever if not adequately addressed ahead of time.
GFI Software recommends the following precautions to ensure that networks and servers are as robust as possible in the face of heightened security threats over the holiday period:
Davies Murphy Group
SOURCE GFI Software
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