Sorry we kept it under wraps for so long, our very good friends at the Business Examiner have last month’s article unlocked and ready for you to enjoy. This month’s theme is network security and the all-important human element. An excerpt is below… for the full article click through and be sure to let them know what you think. Thank you.

“South Sound Tech: Middle Earth and Your Secrets” – Business Examiner (January 9, 2012)

by David Leonhardt

Do you recognize the line, “Keep it secret, keep it safe?”

Bonus points if you cited Gandalf from JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series — and double points if you remember the context of the quote around Gandalf’s sudden suspicion that Bilbo’s ring might not be all that it appears to be.

Well, the logic applies to your data and technology just as well as it does to magic rings.

Unless you’ve been living in a hobbit-hole deep in the back country of the Shire (that’s somewhere east of Enumclaw, I believe) you’ve already been lectured on the importance of keeping your network safe.

Your IT Guy has undoubtedly installed a firewall, anti-virus software and he’s insisted you use passwords that contain numbers and punctuation. If that’s not the case, then you need a new IT Guy because your existing one is either unrealistically optimistic or underpowered for your technology needs.

If you have mobile devices, like laptops or smart phones, then “unlock” codes and hard drive encryption surely must be present. And if you use e-mail, then somewhere there lurks an anti-spam solution keeping your inbox threat-free and uncluttered from ads for products not mentionable in a family friendly column.

All of that, however, isn’t enough. The nature of the threats to your network continues to change.

As recently as a few years ago, the primary threats were more a nuisance than anything else. Please don’t misread me, nuisance could still mean damage to your business, but the intent of the attack was comparable to graffiti or vandalism.

Unless permanent damage was done, the proportional response was akin to the Monty Python Centurion (John Cleese) correcting Brian’s (Graham Chapman) Latin graffiti from Romanes Eunt Domus to Romani Ite Domum.

No, you’ll have to look it up, try a YouTube search for this classic video clip from “The Life of Brian.”

Today’s threats are far more dangerous: They’re economic in nature and the bad guys are out to turn a profit at your expense.

Siphoning funds out of your accounts, reselling your clients’ credit card numbers and other personal information or flat-out extorting money from you in return for not melting down your network are more common events today than most folks care to acknowledge.

In addition, this modern-day focus on criminal profit-making has resulted in an increased level of sophistication in the attacks aimed at breaking through your defenses.

… read the rest on the Business Examiner website