November 27, 2006 1:02 PM PST

Security from A to Z: Questions

Be afraid. Threats to corporate security are everywhere. Just when you thought your network was safe from hackers, along came Wi-Fi--or your iPod-wielding work force--and you discovered newly opened cans of worms.

Security is by its nature ever-evolving. Just as one threat is apparently locked down, another springs up to take its place--or an old one rears its head in a new form. Grappling with it is like battling a hydra, and it's no wonder the security space spawns new terms, phrases and patches by the gigabyte--and you're supposed to keep up with them all.

And while the rise of the Net has opened many doors to information, it has also opened many that should have remained locked. Google is an undeniably wonderful tool for helping people find anything and everything, but such widespread access, especially when rolled out onto desktop PCs in a corporate setting, can be abused as well. And it is the human urge to misuse technology that keeps security professionals working in overdrive.

roundup
The A to Z of security
Read the first part in our rundown of hot security topics, from antivirus to zero-day threats.

Human failings of a less malicious kind are yet another headache for IT departments. Everything from poorly chosen passwords to ill-considered downloads increases the challenge of keeping work platforms safe.

If the business of securing computers and networks is a lucrative one--something Microsoft has been eager to capitalize on of late--so too is the international business of high-tech cybercrime that underpins it. Cybercrime is a hot political potato too: the U.K. government has just updated the Computer Misuse Act to close a loophole regarding denial-of-service attacks and provide stiffer penalties for hacking offenses.

The rise of Wi-Fi, telecommuting and mobile technology has spread security concerns from the office to countless offsite locations. Threats follow the data, and if the data is out there somewhere, you can be certain the threats won't be far behind.

Natasha Lomas of Silicon.com reported from London.

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