Understanding IP Security - Are You Really Safe?

With recent events in mind, IP-Security has jumped to the top of the queue once again. The world’s biggest cyber-terror attack wiped out hundreds of thousands of computers and many more critical files, causing chaos in train terminals, the health service and institutions alike.

As the witch hunts start and the recriminations begin, we find all kinds of pundits in the media blaming software vendors, governments and even users for this attack.

But is it fair to blame the software vendor? If I bought a new car, drove it for five years without any servicing or maintenance, and then one day it broke down, would it be fair to blame the car manufacturer for the failure of the car? The same could be said for software. If I bought an application and didn’t have it maintained or supported, and one day it got attacked by a virus, would it be fair to blame the software vendor?

Legacy systems tend to rely on outdated versions of operating systems as the vendor has either stopped supporting the application or is no longer in business. Often, we hear that it’s impossible to upgrade a service to a newer operating system due to the risk to the business.

It’s one thing closing the door after the horse has bolted, but do we really understand security in our television IP networks? The first challenge is understanding who is responsible for making sure camera’s, sound desks and vision switchers have up-to-date software and security patches installed. Is it the IT department? Or the broadcast engineers?

We need to ask ourselves some deep questions about security in broadcast IP-networks and the value we place on licensed software and support contracts.

The Broadcast Bridge looked at network security in our “Understanding IP Network” series of articles earlier this year. It might just be worth reading them again;

Let us know what you think…

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