Posted by: kenwbudd | October 19, 2010

Technology outstrips security yet again – SmartPlanet

Cisco is today releasing a survey on the security (or lack of) of corporate data. It is something that should give us all cold chills.

We are already well aware that there are professional and national gangs of cyberthieves crafting malicious code that can target and steal bank passwords and other sensitive corporate data online.

However, that’s not the subject under discussion today; it’s corporate carelessness, incompetence and stupidity, combined with very mobile devices whose capabilities are drawing corporate IT players out of their comfort zones.

Three out of five workers believe they need to be in the office to be productive, according to Cisco. They feel so strongly about being mobile that they’d sacrifice (a small) part of their valuable salary to retian this freedom and flexibility, even although it generally means putting in longer hours.

This is especially true outside of the Westernised world; India, China, Brazil and Spain.

Two-thirds of workers make demands on IT resources and services to enable them to use any device they believe suitable and appropriate, whether personal or corporate, to access the company network, regardless of date, time or location.

Nearly half of the IT people surveyed said they were not ready to allow or enable this, siting security as their biggest concern. Clearly, constrained budgets and the limited skills of staff is also a deterent. However users continue to make more demands on th eIT services to provide this capability and if it is not forthcoming they see IT as the obstacle.

You know that IT departments have good reasons to be concerned:

– 1 in 5 workers said they’ve noticed strangers looking at their computer screens in public – and another 1 in 5 said they don’t bother to check who’s looking at their screens.

– About 1 in 5 workers have left their computing devices unattended in public.

– Nearly 3 in 5 workers lend their devices to people they don’t work with — and then don’t supervise them.

– As for the IT people, 1 in 4 said a quarter of the devices they’ve issued to employees in the last 12 months are already either stolen or lost.

– And we are well aware of the Man-in-the-Middle tactics of public access WiFi sites and Hotspots in cafes and libraries.

This survey was actually two surveys – one of employees, the other of IT professionals, 2600 people in all – in 13 countries: the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, India, China, Japan and Australia. Cisco sponsored the survey, but it was conducted by a third party,

Here’s a parting remark from the chief technologist (and futurist) of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group — Dave Evans: “Work is not a place anymore. It’s a lifestyle…”

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