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Editor’s Desk

When we delved into the issue of network security this month (see "A War on Two Fronts" on p. 8), we were surprised with some of the findings.In this day and age, when both internal and external threa...


May 1, 2002  


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When we delved into the issue of network security this month (see “A War on Two Fronts” on p. 8), we were surprised with some of the findings.

In this day and age, when both internal and external threats to company networks are on the rise, it is clear that many companies still have an “it won’t happen to us” mindset. In fact, writer Paul Barker found that a striking number of companies in Canada are still miles from being prepared in the event of a security breach.

During his research, he came across a survey of CEOs and CIOs from leading companies across Canada from Ernst & Young, which showed that 65 per cent of respondents said that it was critical that systems be restored within 24 hours in the event of a security breach. Yet the same number said they would be unable to pull it off. Further, most believed the information stored and transmitted on their systems via the Internet and on LANs was secure, although 25 per cent had no disaster recovery plan in place.

While you may never experience the violation of a professional hacker, today’s security breaches come in many different flavours — from the work of a disgruntled employee to outside company competitors.

The sobering reality is that at some point your security system — or the system of one of your associates or business partners — will be threatened in some way. And in a world where wireless LANs are proliferating, where many networks are connected to the Internet, and where data must be readily available for employees, network breaches are more common than ever.

So what are smart, forward-thinking companies doing? They are reaching into their pockets and putting sound network security strategies and policies in place; educating their staff; looking at cabling infrastructures; and installing state-of-the art firewall systems.

Of course it is a bit of a juggling act — giving your staff and business partners access to the information they need, while still preventing those who are unauthorized access to critical data. And it may take plenty of dollars to do it. But as many companies who found out the hard way will attest, the costs of avoiding it are much higher.

That’s not to say they are any guarantees, as it is unlikely that any network can be 100 per cent secure. But taking every precaution will greatly reduce the risks — and will probably help you sleep better at night.


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