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The IT industry is famous for not eating its own dog food, but does it secure its own houses?
Posted on August 02, 2011

This month, Brainstorm decided to tackle that old chestnut, security, by asking industry players what
the biggest threat to 'their' business is. Unsurprisingly, most came back with comments on what they think the biggest security threat to 'the organisation' is. Below, we've published the answers from the few brave enough to answer the question in full.

As a security vendor, we are fully aware of the security threats that exist, whether through hacker attacks, data loss and theft or malware. For us, it is critically important to ensure that we are fully protected via a comprehensive security policy in collaboration with a complete security solution.

This means protection at the gateway, desktops and mobile devices, and includes e-mail and web scanning, as well as firewalls and data leakage and flash disk protection. This vigilance extends to ensuring software is patched and updated for Windows, Linux and Mac machines. We are all too conscious of how easily vulnerabilities can no longer claim ignorance. It is our duty to know what information is being accessed, who is accessing specific data and what they are doing with it. It is imperative to cover this threat by tracking,
monitoring and controlling all activity across all access points. This needs to be covered for incoming,
internal and outgoing activity.

John Mc Loughlin, MD, J2 Software

At Tasima, we acknowledge that the success and achievements of any company are a direct result of
employee input. Fully aware of this fact, we focus on grooming and training employees on security
awareness at all times. They are sensitised to be very observant of potential risk areas and constantly report and mitigate potential risks, both physical and electronic. On the flip side, Tasima understands the business risk emanating from discontented employees.

As an IT company, we take care not to secure IT systems while leaving our employees unhappy and,
thus, vulnerable. We view network firewalls to be equally as important as human firewalls.

Tebogo Mphutil, CEO, Tasima

The single biggest threat to our business and, in fact, everyone's business, can be the employee. The internal threat is more often driven by eagerness to please, ignorance of the dangers and the occasional
bout of 'just-not-thinking' than Machiavellian scheme. This is never more obvious than with e-mail. Highly confidential information can be widely shared with one 'send'. How to manage this threat is not clear. Too much restriction and your employees will work around the system, not enough and your client lists may end up in competitor's hands.

I recommend a balance of a 'just-enough' policy, reliable and intuitive technology and recurring training.

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