Assessing the appropriate level of response for each of these threats is therefore the starting point to resolving the problem. There is no point in overkill, locking down systems so tightly that it imposes on the systems usability if the information it contains is fairly innocuous.
When it comes to protecting our data many of us, it seems, are still stuck in the Dark Ages. People think IT protection is just about the computer. It is not the computer but the system it is running on that is most vulnerable. We now need to concentrate on how to secure information as it is being transported across networks.
Putting all the necessary protection into computers would be expensive, so making sure that computers can operate on secure and trusted networks is important because of the way we work today, using laptops, working away from the office, all done over public networks.
In Britain, sophisticated information assurance services are being developed which span cryptography, computer network defence, intruder detection and business continuity.
Computer network defence is the front line of cyber warfare. For some clients such as government, banks and financial institutions this means real time 24/7 activities manned by people in special trusted locations, and constant updating of threats.
It is vital to know what level of protection you need. But however good your information assurance is, if someone else has not taken adequate steps they are the weak link and your data is vulnerable because of them. In this network-enabled world we all depend on each other as never before.
Mike Simms is Vice President, EADS Defence & Security Systems. EADS is exhibiting at Infosecurity Europe 2009, the No.1 industry event in Europe held on 28th 30th April in its new venue Earls Court, London. The event provides an unrivalled free education programme, exhibitors showcasing new and emerging technologies and offering practical and professional expertise. For further information please visit www.infosec.co.uk
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