Cyberthreats Evolve Inside Cloud, Mobile

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 12:00 am  

The vast and changing world of computer viruses and malware requires a similarly vast world of security to counteract it, especially for companies providing managed data services for other companies.

Little Rock’s Acxiom Corp., for example, offers a secure cloud service for business and claims that cybercrime costs consumers $110 billion per year.

Windstream Corp., which has been growing its managed data services, spends millions of dollars a year on security vendors and safeguards against cyberthreats.

“As we grow our network we need more security for the network,” said Terry O’Brian, a senior consultant for product development at Windstream in Little Rock. O’Brian helped develop the security systems for Windstream’s managed networks.

“More firewalls, more [intrusion prevention systems], more backup capabilities,” he said. “We’ve got groups that make sure that our internal networks stay clear of malware and viruses, and we do business with an ecosystem of security vendors to achieve that.”

Mobile Threats

The task of managing all that security is made more difficult as more and more security threats are coming from within companies instead of without.

As recently as two years ago, O’Brian said, most cyberattacks were economic or political and were directed externally.

“But I think what we’re seeing in the industry is more of a shift to have more internal threat factors,” he said. “It makes sense when you think about mobile devices in particular, with people having more smartphones and tablets in the workplace.”

For example, malware could become attached to a worker’s tablet and gain access to both the user’s private email account and the corporate email account linked on the device.

“Then it would be able to learn something about the email infrastructure of their company,” O’Brian said.

And mobile malware is on the rise.



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