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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 29, 2008
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Integrated Security
October 29, 2008   
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Micha³ Jarski, director general of Check Point Software Technologies in Poland, a leading international provider of security solutions for the internet, computer networks and systems, talks to El¿bieta Wrzecionkowska.

Attacks on networks and computers owned by companies and private users are becoming increasingly sophisticated, frequent and dangerous. How can networks be protected against such attacks?
The borderline between company networks and home computers is getting blurred these days, because a majority of consumer applications are also used in business. Just a few years ago, the paradigm in IT security was the belief dating back to World War I that the best protection strategy was to dig yourself in. Companies defended this imaginary border between the "safe" internal system of a company and the "dangerous" world of the internet. We now know that efficient prevention of threats necessitates the protection of a company's IT system on many levels such as the network, applications and data. This applies to all constituents of the computer system, especially mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, palmtops and others.

What about application protection?
This is a very broad term, because applications need to be protected against external threats as well as those which might originate from computers used by employees. We need to protect applications from network attacks on the one hand, but on the other, there are uncontrolled information leaks and abuse by authorized personnel.

Many IT companies and analysts talk about the growing demand for integrated solutions managed via a single console.
And this is the right approach. A multitude of different security solutions in a company hinders the work of IT departments and network administrators and besides, it generates excessive personnel costs by requiring jobs for several specialists. Integrated solutions allow for much easier management, control and monitoring and come in very handy in the reporting process that is required by numerous norms and legal regulations.

What is internal security?
Just a few years ago, there was a clear distinction between internal and external networks. This distinction has now completely lost its significance in the era of countless contacts between system users, dealers and institutions which work with companies, not to mention unlimited mobility. This way, internal security entails the security of the corporate network as well as access to it via protected e-mail, applications, data and portable devices.

Another important element of IT security is simple awareness on the part of employees. What training should they receive and what do they need to know to eliminate risk?
The human factor is indeed one of the most important elements of the security structure in every company. No number of security solutions used in corporate architecture can guarantee full protection unless the people cooperate and change their attitudes in this matter. Bearing in mind what I have said about the blurred border between internal and external security, or corporate and private computers, employees need to be made aware that security of the company is the same as that of every employee, the resources they store on their hard drives and their work at the company. Besides, a secure work station provides an employee with better comfort and less stress.
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