IT Trends: Security in a time of convergence

Going into 2013, it’s a good time to look ahead at what enterprises should look out for in terms of working securely this year.

Let’s hear from Sugiarto Koh – Regional Director, ASEAN & North Asia, Sourcefire.

Sugiarto Koh, Regional Director, ASEAN & North Asia, Sourcefire

Sugiarto Koh, Regional Director, ASEAN & North Asia, Sourcefire

Sugiarto Koh opines that advanced malware and targeted attacks pose the greatest challenge for today’s security infrastructure and methods of protection.

Customers are struggling to find solutions that provide effective protection against the latest threats without over-burdening their budgets or sacrificing operational efficiency.

Below are Koh’s take on three major Enterprise IT trends and their implications.

1. Mobile computing

As the popularity of mobile devices continue to increase, cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target mobile platforms where consumers are less aware of the security risks.

“Organisations must take a proactive stance to mitigate the impact of advanced malware that can quickly permeate a network,” believes Sugiarto Koh, Regional Director, ASEAN & North Asia, Sourcefire.

Research indicates malware targeting Android-based devices has increased by nearly 500% since 2011.

Given the lack of even basic visibility as to what is running on your mobile platform, most IT security teams certainly do not have the capability to identify potential threats from these devices.

Employee-owned mobile devices are increasingly being used to access the company’s systems, which can increase the potential of threats to the company’s network.

Smart phones and mobile devices now carry a lot of data, which can be stolen should the device be misplaced or lost putting the company’s data at risk.

The IT network management environment is only going to become more complex and challenging, both internally and externally – so businesses must ensure that they can see what’s happening at every moment before something happens that can put their organization at risk.

2. Social media

Hackers continue to target social network sites as distribution hubs for malicious code.

“Many malicious threats now hone in on their victims, disguise themselves to evade defenses, can hide for extended periods and then launch their attacks at any time,” revealed Sugiarto.

Examples of common approaches include enticing status updates on news feeds to get users to click on the links.

These links provide an avenue for malware attacks to gain access to protected systems and information.

Devices that have access to the enterprise need to be routinely updated with the latest security programs.

Enterprises need to understand what is running on their network in order to protect their digital assets.

3. Bring your own device (BYOD)

While laptops, tablets and smartphones are becoming our ‘go-to’ devices, creating a boon in productivity, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement is increasing security risk to the corporate network and corporate data.

“Given this new level of sophistication it’s clear that the foundation of any security solution must be based on addressing the threat — before, during and after an attack,” Sugiarto urged.

Employee-owned mobile devices that access corporate resources are outside of the control of the corporate IT function.

As a result it can be difficult to identify even basic environmental data for these devices such as the number and type of devices being used, as well as operating systems and applications.

For most enterprises, the right solution shouldn’t be to ban BYOD strategies but to implement BYOD policies that clearly define the proper use of employee-owned devices in the enterprise.

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2 Responses to “IT Trends: Security in a time of convergence”

  1. A Budi says:

    You can say that again. Sleepless nights for the CIO especially BYOD. Tell me about it. It’s like opening the floodgates to the wild wild west into the corporate IT infrastructure.

    • tech4tea says:

      I understand the concern and worry that CIOs are going through. But it’s a major trend that doesn’t show any signs of going away, so CIOs have had to find ways to deal with it – enable BYOD without security compromises. Good luck!

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