Information Technology Security Choices Revisited

Technology – it’s all about choices

It was close to nine years ago that I wrote about the fact that there is always a choice to make when it comes to Information Technology. What was true then is still true today and while the choices might not always be to our liking or centered upon our current business interests a decision will always need to be made. What is new now is that the pandemic has impacted and changed traditional IT in ways that no one could imagine or predicted.

Where “everyone” had a server in their office now the only one in the office might be that server! Where all the staff computers were “safe” behind a business class firewall they are working from home with unknown and unmanaged firewalls. Has your technology security evolved to address this? Has your technology support changed?

There is one change that has shifted from “nice-to-have” to being a must-have and that is multi-factor authentication (MFA). With all these new business systems no longer behind company firewalls it is much easier for threats to make it your company’s systems. Being unaware of attempted logins from countries all over the world does not mean they are not happening. Relying on your end users to not use the same password for everything or for passwords to be complex enough to avoid hacking is not a good choice. Believing that your company is not a valuable target is not an answer either just ask the not-for-profit veterinary clinic has and held for ransom.

How powerful is MFA in stopping attacks? Rather than just take my word check this article which shows that 99.9% of account hacks are stopped by MFA

Is your IT staff or users saying they have strong passwords? Well your password does not matter

In closing the change from nine years ago is twofold. First nine years is a very long time when it comes to technology as the pace is much like “dog” years. Second is the change driven by the pandemic and the economy. These two factors combine to place your IT needs in a new light. If your technology staff are not talking about MFA then it is time to talk to a different company.

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