A Nokia VP was recently telling me about the company's newest firewalls and VPN solutions. (That they'd been a serious player in the security game for 10 years was something, admittedly, I hadn't fully realized.) He was saying how a secure firewall was important to supporting mobile workers in that they travel, spend a little time on a foreign hotspot, and then--like kindergarteners bringing home the classroom's germs--connect again to the corporate network with who knows what on their machines.
Then he made a little joke about how relatively little security was required "back in the olden days"--beat--"five years ago."
It was a good point. Infrastructure security--the need for security--has changed dramatically as network attacks, even spam, become increasingly aggressive. (In April, Nucleus Research announced that 90 percent of email reaching corporate servers is spam--at an annual cost of $70 billion to all U.S. businesses.) The Nokia VP was the first to say that customers want the "investment protection" of knowing a solution they purchase will be relevant for a good five years. And still, with security there's no room for complacency. Even with a great solution in place, it's necessary to be diligent about upkeeping rigorous standards, training and educating end-users and making sure everyone's complying.
New security concerns are continually arising, and that's why we've enlisted the expertise of Benjamin Halpert, a well-credentialed IT professional at Lockheed Martin (an organization whose security standards can hardly be over-emphasized). Beginning this issue, Ben will be writing a security column in Browser and answering reader questions. So, have a concern? A topic you'd like to read more about? Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include Security in the subject line.
Month by month, letter by letter, we'll be working together to strengthen your organization. And we can't wait to hear your thoughts.