Almost 75 days until the Olympics - time to block everything?

Malware hits the Mac but is it worth worrying about?
Malware hits the Mac but is it worth worrying about?

Tomorrow will mark 75 days until the start of the London Olympic Games and the debate is likely either raging or completely uncovered on how to deal with the impact.

A few weeks ago we looked at the challenges and some possible solutions to the various business challenges that the Olympics and Paralympics will pose, and 24 days on, I hope that it was of some use. Certainly the attitude was one of ‘allow staff to work remotely' and use VPN connections, have strong authentication methods and consider the strength and security of personal connections and devices.

Talking recently with F5, it had a different attitude – deny everything. Everything, I asked. Yes, everything, said Nathan Pearce, EMEA product manager at the vendor.

To rewind a little, he said that when it comes to remote working, the main challenge is dealing with untrusted things entering the data centre.

He said: “It is easy to manage and run an SSL outside a network, but with 50,000 employees you have to have a lot of trust. So you treat your building as leased office space, as an internet space and a hot-desk suite and think about the architecture you have inside and outside the office.”

So I asked Pearce if what he meant was to ensure nothing from outside the perimeter enters the network and/or data centre? He said "definitely", as "that is where it becomes a problem".

“There are issues on security, of denial-of-service, so it is not about trusting the user, it is about the integrity of the data,” he said.

“This is the smart way of doing things. This will help people, and those going on about the death of the corporate LAN will know that consumer WiFi is not secure. People know not to connect to different WiFi networks; for those who go down that line, there is only one way.”

Agree or disagree? Some may say that this view is paramount to locking a network down, and that denying all is playing the ‘Doctor No' role of not allowing employee freedom. Or is that simply the best tactic?

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