We’ve all seen the auto-out-of-office replies, ‘Thanks for your message but I’m out until I return – contact my boss/subordinate/someone else if you need or want anything.’ If you’ve emailed me over the last couple weeks, you’ve seen a similar note. I took some time off, then participated in F5’s awesome Agility Conference for partners and customers and then took a few more days off. I am challenged, like many of us, to avoid work, recharge and let the brain-drain occur while ‘out of the office.’ As humans, we need to escape from our daily grind to give the mind, body and soul a chance to recharge but I do try to keep informed about security stuff since I’m personally interested it.
IT Security cannot ever take a vacation. Imagine if you went to your favorite website and when you typed the URL, you got, ‘This website’s content is on vacation and will not be available this week. It’s been working hard to keep you safe but needs a week to recuperate from blocking all those malicious types.’ Now certainly, we see similar messages when a site is down and most, if not all, websites have maintenance windows, but to put a site on vacation is unheard of and absurd. The IT Security staff also needs time-off but their equipment and the sites they manage need to always be available, secure and performing at their peak. The obvious reason is that riff-raff never takes a vacation nor does the need to protect against online threats. There were a few stories that caught my eye over the last couple weeks.
There was interesting data coming from Lookout Inc, a mobile security vendor who released its 2011 Mobile Threat Report. With mobile devices being the fastest growing consumer technology and many of those being used in corporate environments, the report is something to check out. They review both iOS and Android based platforms along with the various threats whether they be Application-based, Web-based, Network based or simply physical loss. Lots of data and graphs to absorb but worth a read. As a side note, I use Lookout on my personal Blackberry and really like it.