The very porous perimeter

Information security specialists have been talking increasingly about the problems of “the porous perimeter”. Business managers are simply going ahead and making the problem worse. Why? Because mobile computing and wireless connectivity massively improve business flexibility, efficiency and competitiveness. And management is quite right – the point about today’s handheld equipment – PDAs, Blackberries, MP3 players, USB flash sticks, digital cameras, camera phones, hand scanners and ultra light laptops – combined with Bluetooth and wireless modems – is that, as well as giving managers instant information, it empowers the workforce. It also empowers those who fancy themselves as industrial spies and, of course, makes it harder to identify the real espionage professionals.

Wouldn’t it be nice if business managers and IT professionals could get together inside organisations (technically, it’s called IT Governance) and ensure that the deployment of new technologies does not leave businesses exposed – the 53% of businesses who have recently deployed wireless networks, for instance, but admit they haven’t included security controls of any sort might need to think things through a little…..we managers don’t need to know what WPA2 is – but we do need to make sure it’s deployed – don’t we?