SECURITY

Network lockdown

14 June 2017

Almost every successful hack begins with a vulnerability and then moves onto exploiting excessive privileges. So is it enough just to plug the gap? If only network security was that simple… 

Almost every successful hack begins with a vulnerability and then moves onto exploiting excessive privileges. So is it enough just to plug the gap? If only network security was that simple… 

In the face of rising and seemingly advanced cyber attacks, how can you keep your precious data safe? RAHIEL NASIR finds out how to put the hackers on the back foot.

On Friday 12 May 2017, a massive ransomware attack started to hit hundreds of organisations around the world.

At the time of writing this article just days later, the infosec community was still sifting through the evidence following the onslaught, and it was still not known whether the Wannacry virus (also known as WCryWanaCryptorWannaCrypt or Wana Decryptor) was state-sponsored, orchestrated by a hacker group, or the work of a lone teenager sitting in a suburban bedroom somewhere. 

So should network and data security breaches now be accepted as an everyday part of digital life where enterprises can do little to protect themselves? 

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BROADBAND

Buried treasure

14 May 2017

Life in the trenches: while ‘fibre everywhere’ is the endgame, industry debate centres around the best way to get there and whether the government needs to do more.

Life in the trenches: while ‘fibre everywhere’ is the endgame, industry debate centres around the best way to get there and whether the government needs to do more.

Will the government’s spending programmes unearth the promise of ‘superfast’ broadband across the UK? JAMES HAYES finds out.

The government’s interventionist stance toward superfast broadband provision has met mostly with approval by fibre network operators and service providers.

And with its Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) change programme set to end in eight months’ time, plus newer initiatives getting ready to be introduced, speculation over whether governmental appetite for state-sponsored investment in fibre to support its Digital Strategy and forthcoming Digital Economy Bill, seems answered.

With BT, government finance is designed to stimulate commensurate commercial stakes: the telco has had to match the government’s £530m funding for regional ‘superfast’* broadband projects with its own money to similar orders of magnitude. 

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DATA CENTRES

Keeping the data centre at the centre of data

05 May 2017

With customers demanding increasingly sophisticated network services, how do data centre operators ensure their own in-house networks can keep pace? JAMES HAYES finds out.

The volumes of data created by businesses make the data centre one of the most important aspects of commerce. As a result, data centre network managers now have increased responsibilities on their shoulders. PHOTO: SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

The volumes of data created by businesses make the data centre one of the most important aspects of commerce. As a result, data centre network managers now have increased responsibilities on their shoulders. PHOTO: SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

Anyone on a tour of a modern data centre will see scant evidence that these processing powerhouses are at the epicentre of the digital transformation that many businesses are going through across the world.

The old indications that something mega was happening behind the scenes have disappeared; the blinking red and green LEDs that used to signal the traffic volumes streaming through are now behind dust-proof panels, and the hum of massed HVAC units has been hushed. Indeed, most data centre interiors are now veritable sanctums of tranquillity – quite a feat given the scale of disruptive forces that these mighty IT estates now enable 24x7.

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