Security policies must evolve to reflect growing IP mobility

4 October, 2005. Company data is being put at risk by IT managers not updating their security policies to reflect evolving Internet Protocol (IP) mobility, according to NextiraOne. But while security must always be a concern, it should not be a barrier to the adoption of exciting technologies such as WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) or wider-range WiMAX wireless internet systems that will come in the future, as well as working from home over fixed-line connections.

NextiraOne is among Europe’s leading network integrators and is concerned that, as mobility becomes an increasing part of modern business, organisations are failing to keep up with the security implications that come with it.

Research group Forward Concepts predicts that wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment shipments will rise by six per cent this year on 2004, valuing the market at $5.2 billion with further growth anticipated in 2006. Gartner also predicted a near 26 per cent rise in the sales of mobile PCs during 2005. A rise in Wi-Fi and mobile PC sales driven by falling costs means that IT managers must seriously consider the implications for their organisations, especially as wireless technology takes off in the home. As employees see the benefits of working wirelessly at home, they will also want to see those mobility benefits replicated in the office.

Productivity benefits gained through wireless IP technologies could be negated if the network was not secure, for example, if a company was to become victim of hacking. With new IP networks carrying voice packets across the network, the potential for unauthorised parties to ‘tap’ IP phone calls has risen, but policies across European companies are yet to reflect this evolution, according to NextiraOne. There also looms the threat of VoIP “audio spam”, which could clog voicemail boxes with spoken adverts.

“Wireless IP networks will never fully replace wired lines, but they will act as a significant complement bringing increased flexibility and productivity to organisations,” said George Karystineos, Mobility & Security Solutions Director for NextiraOne.

“But with the addition of wireless networks to offices, IT managers across Europe must avoid complacency, making sure that the networks are much more secure. Staff must also be informed how to work wirelessly and safely, either within range of the corporate Wi-Fi ‘hot spot’ or any other Wi-Fi points while travelling.”

Karystineos said that to combat this potential threat and make the most of WLAN technologies, companies must work closely with their service providers to ensure that their service level agreement (SLA) offers the highest possible level of security. IT and human resources (HR) departments must also co-operate on how to formulate policies for mobile working staff.

About NextiraOne

Headquartered in Paris and Houston, NextiraOne is a leading global provider of integrated enterprise network solutions and services that enable effective, reliable business communications. We cover everything from planning and design to the implementation, support and management of voice, data and converged communications networks. We provide best-in-class technologies from leading partners including Alcatel, Cisco Systems, Genesys and Nortel Networks. And we offer consultation and solutions development ranging from contact centre applications to network infrastructure outsourcing. Discover more at . NextiraOne is owned by Platinum Equity ( ), a global acquisition firm specializing in the strategic operation of mission-critical services and solutions businesses according to a unique M&A&OSM model of value creation. *NextiraOne and the NextiraOne logo are registered trademarks of NextiraOne.

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