The corporate IT environment has changed irrevocably over the last few years. Threats are no longer high-profile viruses that spread themselves obviously to millions of internet users for maximum publicity. Now they are highly targeted, silently infecting computers to steal data and make money for criminals. They are increasingly surreptitious and low profile, mutating in hours or even minutes to evade detection.
At the same time, today’s working environment is rapidly changing. The network perimeter has dissolved to such an extent that it is virtually unidentifiable. Yesterday’s “castle and moat” architecture – with its office-based desktops and servers protected by a gateway firewall – has crumbled. Remote working, the use of endpoint devices such as USB sticks, constant internet access and the rapid emergence of Web 2.0 technologies have redefined how employees interact with an organization’s systems. In addition, increasingly complex networks must accommodate not just employees, but also outside contractors, vendors and customers.