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IT Security—Then And Now

As information technology (IT) infrastructures migrate to cloud-based technology on a revolutionary scale, it is no surprise that the latest trends for IT security involve the cloud, mobile computing, social networking, and data mining.

IT Security and the Cloud

Cloud computing options are now available through thousands of third-party companies, eliminating the need for IT departments and the expertise that generally comes with them. With less on premise expertise, traditional security measures like current anti-virus programs and secure firewalls may be forfeited. System monitoring, to identify potentially compromised data, has become more challenging as new virus issues continue to spread through our networks on a regular basis.

Just as cloud options provide brilliant solutions to the complex world of IT, it is important to ensure that the Service Level Agreement you sign includes the support of a senior-level Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). This role has become a leading position in the last five years for service vendors, IT departments, and large companies where IT security is critical. The CISO is now responsible for an enterprise-level vision of IT security.

IT Security and Mobile

New statistics by CheckPoint show that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are connecting to corporate networks on a frequent basis and that customer data is being stored on mobile devices. They claim that mobile devices have greatly contributed to increased security-related incidents. Employee unawareness also impacts the security of mobile data, and careless employees are known to be a greater security risk than hackers.

As mobile technologies continue to explode, providing solid IT security methods for new devices and the migration to mobile-based data may, for a time, be a worthy challenge. Security managers will have their hands full to accommodate the advancing mobile technological space. New concepts in identity management and context-related security will be crucial in the success of appropriate security levels for mobile data and devices.

IT Security and Social Networking

Access and identity management are a leading IT security challenge in today’s social networking environment. Most every business is using some form of social networking to either promote their business or seek out customer identity. You name it—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and MySpace, to name a few, are links on the majority of major websites. IT security for these social networking sites is generally secure, but they continue to proliferate. There are currently over 340 social networking sites, and they will continue to increase.

As individuals, we need to read and select appropriate privacy and security options. In the business world, it is essential that companies implement proactive security strategies that monitor and protect the enterprise.

IT Security and Data Mining

Data mining—the practice of searching through large amounts of computerized data to find useful patterns or trends, as defined by Merriam-Webster online—places the world in a vulnerable place, especially given recent intelligence gathering due to the need for greater worldwide security. Much of the data we share, unbeknownst to us, has been shared by our own accord. We have selected our privacy options on social networking sites, in online accounts, and for every site we visit often. We generally click Agree, and most of the time we haven’t read the policy. In the case of data mining, it may certainly be up to us as individuals to manage our own IT security, but it has become a bigger issue for companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

We must all take an interest in IT security, at every level. We benefit from technological advancements every day, but with great technology comes vulnerability. Protect your data and your company data. Adhere to IT security measures for optimum device and data protection.

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Mary is a leading trainer in Microsoft® and Business Applications.

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