Emerging IT Security Threats in the Channel

There is irony in why some companies are investing less of their budgets in IT security. It is because most organizations do not have people in their organizations who can manage ever more complex security software. Consider that every time the bad-guys find some way to get into a system, security has to find a way to thwart them, and hopefully get a step or two ahead.

So, while there are people on the outside getting smarter and smarter to try to beat ever more impressive security that some businesses use, other businesses are actually not trying to improve security because it is beyond their ability. If it isn’t already, it will soon not be a problem for the bad-guys to get into these environments operating in a sort of stasis.

On the other hand, the survey that IT professionals answered that said they were not improving security at the same rates they used to, still rank IT security as one of the most important parts of their business. To many it might seem obvious that when a business operates in the channel, and technology is how a business makes its money, they should consider outsourcing their security, or do whatever it takes to ensure that their business, and their reputation, is kept safe.

Part of the change with the new cloud based environment is that improvements to the technology are no longer made on servers. Change the servers incrementally, and the IT staff can keep up with the security needed for those updates. Today, many companies do not have servers at all. They operate solely, or almost solely in the cloud, and when the cloud they use makes changes, they go along for the ride.

More work and communication being done in the cloud means there is a greater opportunity for unauthorized data gathering. When there was a connection to a network in the old days, it was easier to monitor if something was happening that shouldn’t. With everyone using the cloud now, there are problems with security. However, for those who are willing to take the time and outsource or receive training, there are security solutions.

As with most changes and advances in technology, there is money to be made by creating and keeping secure networks, and with all of the hacking and stealing of data that has occurred in the past 18 months, and well before that, there is more need and more interest than ever in not only keeping information secure, but letting clients know they their information is secure. In some reports, it is the businesses that operate in the channel that are providing security help to the people providing services; a sort of flipping of older roles.

Recent reports state that it is important to think of security from a network perspective and not just from the wireless perspective. This is where some internal IT professionals get in over their heads when they work on security. It is not enough to focus on the connection between the network and a wireless device. Focusing on this part of the connection leaves the rest of the network vulnerable to problems. Now, it has become clearer that the way to prevent problems is to ensure that there are no weak links in any part of the network.

In order to ensure there are no weak links in the network, encryption is part of the process that will provide a solution. Data should be encrypted anytime it moves along the network, whether through wireless usage, or along wires. It should also be encrypted whether it is in the public or the enterprise domain. Finally, data should be encrypted no matter where it is store—either on mobile devices, or when stored on servers.

The only time data should not be encrypted is when it is accessed by an authorized user, and there should be vigorous authorization method to prove to the network that the user is authorized. Without this, the data is easier for hackers and data thieves to access. This is not the time to allow internal IT staff to become frustrated that potentially the data and improvements are too complex for them to manage. If that is the legitimate situation, then it is imperative that outsourcing IT security is done.

Authorization can be complex, such as using fingerprints to gain network access, or it can as simple as pairing a username and passwords, as long as protocols regarding changing one or the other are followed.

There are of course many different tools available to protect wireless security threats for cloud based businesses. These security tools can range from basic networking supports like carrier-operated cellular networks, and there are more complicated protections such as wireless LAN assurance tools. There are also spectrum assurance tools, and security enhancement tools.

The job of security is never done. The things that work to protect information in the cloud today can be beaten by hackers tomorrow. It is important to keep these thoughts in mind, and to keep investing in better and better security.

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