Today keeping sensitive business information private is more important than ever. In the past frauds did occur but they were nowhere near on the scale that they are today. With networks, better known as gangs, of fraudsters, now forming all over the world, business fraud and online crime are more prevalent than ever.
This is why businesses of all sizes are investing heavily on IT (Information Technology) systems that protect their data as well as private document control centers to prevent the flow of information (paperwork) leaving the workplace.
The most important business security is making sure IT systems are secure. This can be quite difficult these days because people tend to take work home with them in today’s high pressure and highly competitive working environments. Even though for most countries the standard weekly working hours are around 40 hours per week, most people will work longer hours. Plus, with access to most files and business networks now available due to the internet, people can easily log on and work online.
One of the problems that can arise when people work remotely is that the business IT team does not know where the company’s employees are connecting to the internet. When we connect to the internet, we effectively connect to something called the open net. This is an open network that allows anyone to connect to servers on the World Wide Wed.
There are 2 risk factors here that we must consider:
- The device that connects the employees to the internet
- The websites being visited by the employee is dangerous
Routers or otherwise known as access points connect us to the internet. From here, we can open a web browser or application that will find the servers we need to connect to. For example, I may want to connect to a siti torrent application to download torrents – this is firstly a risky way to download movies and music and secondly something that most companies would not want a device holding their data connecting. However, the access point will allow me to connect to whichever network I have commanded my computer to access.
Anyone could be on the access point and see my connection. Now, most home access points are safe, but when we start to consider employees connecting to the internet from hotels, cafes, and other places that give away free internet access, problems can arise. Online thieves specifically penetrate free WiFi access points that are used by members of the general public. This is because connections to the internet on these access points are usually not secure and it is easy to access people’s devices and steal data.
Adding to this, employees may be visiting malicious websites, but they do not know the website is a security risk. Without the protection of the company security network, all kinds of viruses could enter the user’s device which is then set loose on the company network.
Another big issue that has arisen is that people use their smartphones for access to work emails. When the phone is lost, whoever picks that phone up could access those emails with the right knowledge. In fact, there are gangs of pickpockets and thieves that go out specifically to relieve people of their mobile devices so the gang can quickly hack the phone and download the emails, documents, and personal details of the phone’s owner.
All these issues have to be tackled by IT teams today in the modern business world. A lot of it is just teaching employees about the risks so they understand how to take preventative measures. However, it is still very hard to control the flow of information and prevent access to information with employees logging on from outside the company network or using devices outside of the company’s IT network and then using the same device to log on to the company IT network. These are the challenges that face all IT departments and businesses in today’s modern internet era.