IT Security Solutions: The First Line of Business Defense

By | May 1, 2013

IT security is the first line in protecting a business from marauding technology thieves and the increasing amount of malicious software lying online in wait. Midsize admins are tasked with both making sure internal resources remain free of outside influence and keeping users on the straight and narrow when they go to access outside data. Doing so requires that IT security solutions and professionals look beyond the obvious.

Emerging Security Threats

The rise of cloud computing and mobile device use has ushered in a new era of IT security threats. Public clouds, for example, place a large amount of data in a single space. Although separated by virtual walls, the nature of mutli-tenant server housing is such that if attackers gain access to the right administrative powers, they can wreak havoc across multiple instances.

Mobile devices, meanwhile, are susceptible to a new breed of Trojan type software, thanks to the ubiquity of third party apps. Every device type and every OS has a wealth of apps available, but not all are created by reputable developers, and some carry malicious code. These attacks remain largely unsophisticated, but by piggybacking onto the install packages of legitimate apps, they can collect and distribute user device and contact data. Employees are often unaware they're been the victim of a Trojan installation until IT professionals examine their device. In the worst case scenario, attackers may gain access to company servers by recording user login credentials.

Solid Defense

To deal with these evolving threats, midsize companies need similarly powerful IT security solutions. Admins have several options when it comes to protecting their networks. The first is to develop an internal process that can adequately defend against intrusion and accidental misuse - this starts with education. Dealing with the bring your own device (BYOD) trend means training employees to use only reputable download sites and not to attempt to circumvent IT protocols. This is made easier through the use of virtual instancing, which allows a personal phone to effectively split into completely separate parts, limiting the possibility of a breach.

It's also possible to leverage the power of third party providers to help secure a network. IBM's Trivoli security framework, for example, offers end-to-end compliance across people, data, and infrastructure, helping to make sure the users who log on have permission to do so and are using resources correctly. Virtual server protection, meanwhile, ensures each layer of a virtual machine (VM) - from host and hypervisor to network and traffic - is monitored for any kind of suspicious activity.

Security threats take multiple forms across a host of networks and devices. To effectively defend their resources and win the security war, midsize admins must be prepared to deal with multiple battlefields, and they may benefit from reinforcements.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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