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Sysadmins: How do YOU protect your networks against 'friendly fire'?

Thinking beyond perimeter security

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It will come as no surprise that preliminary analysis of results so far in our latest reader survey (still open here) suggests that corporate networks are going to come under increasing pressure as traffic volumes and patterns evolve.

As part of this, it’s clear that most people are anticipating a world in which not just employees, but customers, suppliers and other external parties will be accessing applications from both inside and outside the physical organisation boundary.

Hardly news, but it does raise the interesting question of whether we can continue to place so much reliance on perimeter level security, or whether we should regard security measures implemented at the edge of the corporate network as just the first line of defence.

Some are arguing that we need to think more in terms of creating a “virtual perimeter” around business applications and data, and a lot of the latest network security kit is slated to be able to help with this.

Of course, this may all be down to vendors exaggerating the issues to get you to upgrade your network infrastructure. Given that a lot of security threats come from inside the organisation, however, even if it’s just thoughtless users doing stupid things, the application/data-centric approach arguably provides some worthwhile benefits.

The rigorous security controls often reserved to protect against undesirable activity coming in from the outside can be applied to all forms of access – including “friendly fire” from employees.

But what do you think? Is this alternative way of looking at network security something you have already adopted or have on your agenda, or is it another distraction caused by vendor marketeers?

There’s still time to give us your views on this and related matters in the survey. You can get stuck in right here.

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