Editorial: We must cover all fronts

Opinion by Paul Fisher

Is spam out of control? In my house, I'm sorry to admit, it seems to be. And there's nothing my internet service provider seems willing or able to do about the nightly trawl I have to make through the pile of rubbish that strangles the stuff I really want to read.

Is spam out of control? In my house, I'm sorry to admit, it seems to be. And there's nothing my internet service provider seems willing or able to do about the nightly trawl I have to make through the pile of rubbish that strangles the stuff I really want to read.

The problem is that it brings huge returns and the spammers seem to be getting the upper hand in their targeting of home broadband users. Why is this? The blame must be laid at the feet of the ISPs, which are not even trying to stop this stuff before it gets to their customers. Instead, the public are expected to install their own protection and somehow outwit criminals who are far more technically literate than they are.

The home is the new front in the battle against online crime. The spammers know this. The broadband giants know this too. It's about time they acknowledged it.

One technology that has moved beyond the home front is peer-to-peer. There is more to P2P these days than kids sharing illicit music tracks. While it is necessary to police such illegal activity in your workplace, some enlightened organisations are discovering that P2P has a legitimate and advantageous business use as well, as Mark Mayne's feature on page 44 shows.

Innovation in the information security business is a controversial concept, but our cover story this month features a man whose company claims to have developed solutions for a world without perimeters long before industry knew it needed them. Read more about Tomas Olovsson and AppGate on page 24.

Stop leaving your papers lying around. That's the message from Rob Buckley's article (page 32), in which he discovers that businesses are not taking full advantage of secure document management tools in an age when electronic documents are increasingly becoming the lingua franca of modern business. They probably should.

Vista has been around for a couple of months, but it will be a long time before the majority of the UK's businesses adopt it. Our feature on page 38 looks at the efforts that Microsoft put into making it the most secure Windows iteration yet. Some analysts have been keen to predict the demise of Microsoft as the world turns to handy (but inherently insecure) on-demand applications. There is more than a touch of wish-fulfilment in this. There is no doubt that while executives in Redmond are keeping a watchful eye on Google and its ever growing application suite, it's unlikely that Microsoft and its hold on corporate IT is about to disappear.

Finally, the Nationwide building society now understands the true cost of losing a laptop: a near-£1 million fine from the FSA. And so, it must be said, do the public, which has become increasingly concerned about the security of personal data held by once trusted financial organisations.

Away from the headlines however, that fine is less swingeing. Set against the UK housing market, where Nationwide made most of its £960 million turnover last year, it looks small. More so when the sum is likely to be paid by Nationwide's members!

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