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Wifi security

image from tinker-tailor-solider-spy.com

While networks have many advantages – the key one being connected systems and data – their key problem is security. The only way to be absolutely certain that data transmitted on a network is secure is secure is to encrypt it – and this is an issue of much debate in recent times.

While a wired network may offer some physical security – hackers have to get one the premises effectively – wireless networks have always had an issue in that they can be “scanned”. Many of use have probably used unsecure/free public wifi on a bus or in a coffee shop. This is fine once you are not sending confidential information.

And I am sure many of us have used the sometimes costly wifi in hotels. We may think as we pay, it is more secure. A recent blog post on the Economist  suggests otherwise. The post notes a report by Kaspersky Labs, which found that specific persons staying in hotels were targeted and their hotel wifi connection snooped. This was down to some clever malicious software, but the lesson to be learned for a business might be – assume all wifi you do not control is unsecure.

 

Technology number 2 concern of Boards

A recent report cited on CGMA’s website places technological risk at the second risk concern amongst a survey of Boards of Directors. The risk concern is with cyber-security, and was the number one risk concern of private firms. The report notes an increases in the perceived technology risk from previous years.  It is interesting (and good) that Boards are well aware of technological risk – as most large organisations today are so reliant on their information systems. You can read the full report here and the CGMA article here.

The cloud – Dropbox

Here is a nice new feature from BBC on cloud storage company DropBox

Technological progress 2

Following from our last post, have a look at this:

20140518-171244.jpg

I came across it on a social network. If you are a student, you may be too young to remember when Internet speeds were 64Kb per second or so – yes that’s Kb not Mb per second. Nowadays 40-50 Mb is normal at home and in business. That’s nearly 1000 times faster.

Keeping data secure

Image from wikipedia

Image from wikipedia

It is good practice to keep a backup copy of key business data. Basis practice is to take a backup of key organisational data regularly on a medium that can be stored offsite if necessary. Arguably, in a cloud computer environment a backup is not needed, but many organisations still (and probably always will) maintain some data internally.

One quite old method of storing a backup copy of data – or even storing data – is on magnetic tape. As recently noted in the Economistthis backup medium has gained a new lease of life. Cloud storage has become so cheap and fast, that the tape could have been seen as redundant. But one thing a magnetic tape has is portability – it can thus be easily secured anywhere, away from normal business risks or even hackers. As noted in the Economist article, many organisations also now generate huge volumes of data (i.e. big data) which may be useful for analysis. Tapes can easily store such data.

The article also notes four advantages tapes have as a backup medium:

1- data can be retrieved fast

2- power is not needed to store the data

3- there are secure as mentioned

4-  they can be repaired (spliced).

There are also likely to be improvements in tape technology in coming years as their value for storing large amounts of data has come back into vogue.