Monday, July 10, 2006

The Weakest Link in Network Security

I found this excellent article on  It spells out some of the inherent risks in Information Security that come with the reality of giving access to users.  Many things can happen as a result of carelessness that can devastate even a well-protected network.

The recommendations in this article provide an excellent starting point for providing protection against the human element of Information Technology.

The Weakest Link in Network Security
Viruses and spyware threaten your data security--but carelessness can be an even bigger threat.
July 10, 2006
By Peter Alexander

Your small-business network may be protected by firewalls, intrusion detection and other state-of-the-art security technologies. And yet, all it takes is one person's carelessness, and suddenly it's as if you have no network security at all.

Let me give you an example. In March 2006, a major financial services firm with extensive network security disclosed that one of its portable computers was stolen. The laptop contained the Social Security numbers of nearly 200,000 people. How did it happen? An employee of the firm, dining in a restaurant with colleagues, had locked the laptop in the trunk of a SUV. During dinner, one of the employee's colleagues retrieved an item from the vehicle and forgot to re-lock it. As fate would have it, there was a rash of car thefts occurring in that particular area at that particular time, and the rest is history.

The moral of that story is clear: No matter how secure your network may be, it's only as secure as its weakest link. And people--meaning you and your employees--are often the weakest link. It's important to note that poor security puts your business, as well as your partners, at risk. As a result, many enterprises and organizations, such as credit-card companies, now specify and require minimum levels of security you must have in order to do business with them.

The Weakest Link in Network Security

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