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Research reveals post Christmas dread by IT Managers.

SafeBoot : 19 December, 2007  (Technical Article)
The new year is expected to see an avalanche of portable devices being connected into company networks bringing IT havoc if policies aren't adequately enforced according to SafeBoot.
As Christmas approaches, IT staff up and down the country are getting twitchy. With the nation's Christmas stockings set to be filled with MP3 players, digital cameras, PDAs and the like, 46 per cent of IT staff are dreading the New Year as these digital devices look set to cause IT havoc, and pose potentially severe data security risks, according to research of 1,000 IT managers by data security specialist, SafeBoot.

While 56 per cent of the survey respondents already ban all non-authorised external devices from the network (ie MP3 players, PDAs, cameras, USB sticks etc.), over half of IT managers feel ignored with employees carrying on regardless. As the threat of data leakage and security breaches (on the corporate network) gains momentum in the media, it is obvious that if employees are left to their own rules on external devices organisations are leaving themselves open to great risks.

Tom de Jongh, product manager at SafeBoot says: "Come January there will be a lot of worried IT managers across the UK, praying that the influx of new devices does not crash the network. Banning devices is all well and good, but does anyone listen? If employees don't understand the risks they are posing then security policies are not worth the paper they're written on. IT staff need to plan for the worst and take measures that incapacitate USB ports and protect data from potential abuse. If in doubt, play safe and this should help see in a happy New Year."

Here are some top-SafeBoot-tips to ensure corporate data remains secure after the silly season:

* Set out clear guidelines to your staff on the use of mobile devices, and ensure these are communicated effectively.
* Use access control and encryption on all external and mobile devices to prevent lost hardware turning into lost data.
* Leaving security to employees is not sensible - they are not security experts. Implement transparent security measures to mitigate the 'human factor'.

Corporate networks are alive with 'illegal devices' such as iPods, personal PDAs and USB sticks. Ensure that device control software is deployed to control these devices and their accessibility.
Finally, file server are the heart of any business. Protect and control the data stored on your file servers by using group and user based persistent file & folder encryption protocols.

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