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January 6, 2014

Outdated network security ‘failing to address internal threats’

Research finds SMBs are ignoring growing risks from BYOD.

By Joe Curtis

Friendly fire has emerged as the biggest threat to network security, according to research that calls on SMBs to change their ‘outdated’ mindsets to securing online access.

Security risks from within a business’s network are expected to grow by as much as 45% over the next three years as the trend of BYOD and mobile working continues its rise, claim Barracuda Networks and industry analysts Freeform Dynamics.

Remote workers will also be 31% more likely to generate higher traffic than staff based in the office by 2018, claims the research,while surveyed firms predict external threats to marginally drop.

Freeform analyst Tony Lock said: "Most people don’t like to talk about it but everybody recognises the vast majority of usage is from inside the company, and that’s the easiest way to access [sensitive] information."

Barracuda’s Wieland Alge argued that it is time for companies to ditch the old ‘internal vs external’ view in favour of becoming more focused on ‘public vs private’.

But while 63% of the 400 IT decision makers interviewed agreed with him, just 11% say they have adopted an application perimeter, which would cover external devices being used.

Alge said: "With the emergence of the cloud and mobile users, the perimeter firewall handles a lot more traffic that’s internal to internal.

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"It’s more about application delivery control than blocking access with a firewall."

The answer, claim Freeform and Barracuda, is to adopt a load-balancing strategy, where SMB networks optimise the performance of servers running applications as they are needed.

But the research found that just 9% of firms have such a strategy at the moment, though Barracuda predicts that percentage will triple in the next three years.

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