Enterprise Communication in Brief: Securing Enterprise Commnication

By Tony M. Damico
2009, Vol. 1 No. 11 | pg. 1/1
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In today’s world of instant information transfer and with the incredible pace of technological developments that occur daily, protecting a company’s data and information is becoming more important and relevant to a company’s growth. Not only are the proprietary assets of a company in question, but even simple email messages may contain unauthorized information. In the case of an enterprise utilizing many of the common methods of information transfer, the topic of securing, and in some cases, encrypting, email and other forms of communication, including wireless methods, has becoming a major concern for every IT department.

GFI notes that viruses capable of crippling email systems and corporate networks are distributed via email in a matter of hours (the LoveLetter virus, for instance). Email worms and viruses may use attachments to infect a system, but viruses are also transmitted through email messages that run automatically with no need of any user clicking on attachments (2009). Not only are attacks on company data inside a company’s intranet growing, but the attacks on messages once they are on the move has also increased.

Encryption provides a viable solution to attacks on messages that are flowing on the . “All the sophisticated firewalled networks and device protection in the world won’t keep your sensitive business data secure once it’s on the move” (PGP, 2009). No matter what the medium of information transfer is, wireless, wired, satellite or some combination of multiple methods, encryption is indicated as a secure method for all transfers.

Without encryption, a critical risk exists to an enterprise’s customer information, financial data, and trade secrets. Losing control of sensitive information may lead to a loss of customer base, goodwill in the industry, brand damage, and a plethora of legal costs.

Any perceived loss of time within the enterprise to set up encryption and train the staff to use it is paid back in dividends by the removal of such an important information risk. Encryption is nevertheless not guaranteed to stop all attacks; but, “Encrypting your email will keep all but the most dedicated hackers from intercepting and reading your private communications” (About, 2009). Encryption along with digital signatures will increase the level of security.

As in most security pursuits, a multilayered approach is sensible. Digital signatures, or personal email certificates are thought of as being a method of ensuring who the message is coming from as well as keeping the amount of spam sent in your name to a minimum. The idea is to have as little unprotected email as possible in the enterprise. Finding a company with the experience necessary to set up and maintain a wireless solution that will provide broadband quality networking in any environment with no centralized control, no available infrastructure and that may operate without reliance on aerial relay nodes (fortresstech, 2007) may be a step too far for some domestic companies, but it is the level of security needed for many government operations.

At this level, the security platform design must provide reliability in fixed, portable or mobile environments under the harshest of conditions. Fortress Technologies provides the government with the high level of secure wireless communication that is necessary today. Five types of encryption, along with multi-factor authentication are staples of their platform. The security functions employed are, "reconfigurable, field upgradable [and] custom field programmable…” (Fortress Tech, 2007).

The reliance on random numbers used in encryption may be considered to be a cornerstone of cryptography. Fortress Technologies maintains the importance of this assertion in how their mobile devices are manufactured and deployed. It is argued that the government is often behind the private sector in terms of utilizing current technologies, however, it should also be noted that many tax dollars are spent securing the latest inventions in any field related to government and national security. This point is certainly true in information security. Many domestic operations simply do not require a wartime level of information security.

In the business world, as far as proprietary information or information in general goes, it is always a wartime situation. Look to the methods used by the most critical operations that have successfully protected communications to show the way to securing communications in any business related setting. Fortress Technologies relies on a tiered, multi-layered approach to securing communications.

Enterprise information security demands no less. FreshPatents.com discusses a method of combining cellular authentication keys and voice encryption, followed by generating an authentication key based on both (2009). This evolution of security measures related to securing the various methods of communication underscores both the importance of sensitive data and the creativity of those who would attack information assets to steal, corrupt or destroy them.

As in most cases, a multi-layered approach to security is prudent. No one method or company will supply all of the answers to this evolving information security risk. Constant monitoring and is the only general method that will keep enterprise information security up-to-date.

About.com. (2009). Internet/network security. Retrieved May18, 2009, from http://netsecurity.about.com/cs/emailsecurity/a/aa051004.htm

C.com. (2007). Bringing secure communications anywhere at anytime. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http://www.fortresstech.com/media/Fortress%20Wireless%20Communications%20System.pdf

FreshPatents.com. (2009). Secure wireless communication. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http://www.freshpatents.com/-dt20090423ptan20090103728.php GFI. (2009).

GFI email security testing zone. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http://www.gfi.com/emailsecuritytest/ PGP. (2009).

Defending the data. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http://www.pgp.com/

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