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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Good planning can prevent event based cyber attacks.

28 February, 2008
Held once every four years, the American democrat and republican conventions are no strangers to security scares and good planning is essential. This year sees the events taking extra care in preventing IT based threats.
Last held in 2004, the US political party conventions are facing cyber enemies that are more sophisticated and organised along with having a whole new set of tools at their disposal that weren't available four years ago.

However, the event organisers have also got smarter and, with the help of Ensuren, they are taking radically changed approaches to preventing hackers, data thieves and others intent on causing malicious harm to the IT systems from making problems.

Due to take place in the summer, the planning has started early enough to implement the long list of protection measures which include some of the following more interesting measures:

With connectivity being more straightforward than ever before, the organisers are taking steps to zone off disparate networks to prevent intrusions from affecting the entire convention. Any breaches of zoned networks can be contained more easily and have the effects localised. Connectivity using wireless networks are being heavily controlled.

Using a layered approach including filter, different types of firewalls and gateways so that intrusion into the network cannot be achieved through a single successful hack.

The use of removable media has been banned completely and all the IT equipment used at the convention will be supplied by the organisers to prevent unintentional problems from occurring due to infected equipment being brought into the convention centre.

The list goes on and although some of the measures such as an outright ban on USB devices and strict limitations on wireless networking may seem draconian, there is no doubt that the very real threat of convention IT systems being compromised at the convention is being taken very seriously and is being reacted upon comprehensively.
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