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Risk

1/4/2010
09:30 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Here Come The Holiday Devices -- And The Post-Holiday Risks

Smartphones and thumb-drives and players and everything else digital and USB-equipped (and wireless!), oh my! How many of the people in your business received digital, connect-able gifts this holiday season? How many of them brought those gifts to work with them today? And more to the point, how many of those devices are now connected to your network?

Smartphones and thumb-drives and players and everything else digital and USB-equipped (and wireless!), oh my! How many of the people in your business received digital, connect-able gifts this holiday season? How many of them brought those gifts to work with them today? And more to the point, how many of those devices are now connected to your network?Even as the holiday lights are being unplugged, the holiday devices are being plugged in. Take a look, as your staff returns to work, at how many newly received digital devices have entered your workplace -- and give some thought to getting policies in place and updated to accommodate and control them asap.

Among the many different threats we're likely to face in 2010, the first full day back at work for many businesses brings a full array of new connections and new connection challenges.

Thumb drives, for instance, have become so cheap even as their capacity has exploded, that plenty of people found gigabytes in their stockings along with candycanes. Problem is, the candycanes may rot your teeth and thicken your waist, but an infected thumb drive can bring rottenware into your network. Or take confidential data out.

Smartphones loomed large on the gift list this year, and smartphone usage and connection policy had better loom large on your To-Do list (as in: To-Do now).

Other mobile devices present their own risks, not least of which is your inability to know how effectively then new devices are protected. This, too, is something you need to attend to now -- making sure that new netbooks and notebooks fully meet your security requirements before employees put too much company data on them.

Coming back to work after holiday is never easy; hitting employees with a raft of new policies and usage rules won't make it any easier.

But it'll be easier than dealing with the consequences of a malware invasion or data leak. A lot easier.

Welcome back.

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