23/01/2020

Identity: The Next Frontier

IT and computers are a sphere of industry that is exceptionally dynamic, so we should all expect change. In fact, it is the one constant in computing, especially given the “us versus them” hacking arms race we are all part of.

Five years ago, most of us did our work in the office and, as such, most of the protection was focused on the firewall to keep what was outside, out and keep what was inside, in.

If only life was so simple today. Half of a company’s staff are outside, working remotely, and they expect every function of their job to be available as if they were inside. In addition, half your servers are outside too. Maybe servers is the wrong word but as companies use more services like Monday.com, OneDrive or Dropbox these services are on servers outside your firewall.

When you think about it the only way to sleep happy in this modern environment is to be absolutely certain that whoever is logging in is who they say they are.

Security is more important than you think

This is hardly a new problem though. This is the same issue the banks have had for the last decade and, as we know, if you really want to be sure that a person is who they say they are, you give them a password and then you give them a little dongle that generates the right 4 or 6 digit code on queue.

If you are on Office 365 (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) you can have access to this for nothing. Despite this bargain price however, less than 1 in 10 people have enabled this. In summary, it’s simple, it’s free, it’s absolutely critical and on balance of probability you haven’t done it yet.

I think at least part of the problem is that IT people are prone to hyperbole – we get very hot and bothered about stuff that Average Joe couldn’t care less about. I myself had a minor breakdown last week when presented with a client computer without a Solid–State Drive. The thing is though, this isn’t one of those occasions. Hyperbole be damned, this is 10 million times more important than the next security item on your list.

Getting hurt by hacks

In the first nine months in 2019 over 27 million accounts had been hacked on Office 365 and every time a person gets hacked it has a different personal story behind it. Many are stories of real pain and hurt. People are losing serious money through hackers getting access to email, for example, then using that access to tell all your customers that your bank account details have changed or something similar. Some of these are very targeted and very convincing, given that they can follow up on legitimate emails YOU already sent. Mark my words, if you don’t get ahead of this you WILL have a real personal story of loss and hurt all your own.

Some of you may think the answer is to avoid Office 365/Cloud Services. This sort of logic can get a fella into trouble. It’s sort of like deciding to live on the street because you heard people can get into your house if you don’t lock the door. Genius!

The real question for 2020 is: will you be bothered to take responsibility for your own security, fix this and lock your own door? At Nitec, helping you get your head around stuff like this is the reason we get up in the morning, so if you need a hand we would love to help.

  • Connectwise
  • Logitech
  • Microsoft Partner Gold x 6
  • HP Enterprise
  • HP Preferred Partner, Gold
  • Aruba
  • Mimecast
  • Watchguard
  • Citrix
  • BT
  • Webroot
  • Arcserve
  • APC
  • Plantronics