Underground strikes cause information security risks to soar

Industrial action is expected to continue over the next 48 hours. Businesses are relying on their employee’s ability to log-on remotely and access files and company confidential information to avoid costly downtime.
Recent research conducted by Dynamic Markets on behalf of security specialists Websense found that 71% of IT directors in the UK allow access to email services such as Hotmail, Yahoo & Gmail. It also found that 41% of IT managers surveyed fear the consequences of public disclosure from a data breach.

Jonathan Wilkinson, messaging security EMEA & APAC at Websense, tells Infosecurity how businesses can enable their workforce to engage with web 2.0 securely when working remotely in times when business continuity measures need to be activated.

“As many businesses become increasingly mobile and employees access company confidential information remotely, via the cloud or other hosted web 2.0 services, it is vital that IT Directors recognise the importance of enabling their workforce to embrace these enriched web 2.0 technologies, whilst at the same time ensuring the protection of confidential data” Wilkinson said.

“The challenge”, Wilkinson continued, “is to recognise that whilst there is certainly responsibility on the part of the end user to ensure that they are sharing and communicating company data responsibly, responsibility also lies with IT directors to ensure that users are sufficiently educated on best practices surrounding the safe use of web 2.0, and that effective protection is provided to mitigate the risk of data stealing malware whilst outside of the network.”

Signify, however, a vendor that provide a hosted authentication service so that employees can securely access their business email, files and applications, saw an increase in secure remote log-ins of almost 20% during the strikes - compared to the same days the previous week.

“While many businesses lost valuable working days as employees struggled to get in to their offices, those that had a secure remote access policy in place were able to remain largely unaffected by the strikes,” said Dave Abraham, CEO at Signify.




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