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Protecting the digital assets

The 2006 technology, media & telecommunications security survey


Digital information and digital technology have become the lifeblood of the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industry. This fundamental shift is creating tremendous opportunities and, for savvy companies, considerable value. But the move to digital also presents significant new challenges and risks, including security threats such as computer viruses and intellectual property theft that can disrupt or even disable a business.

In the aftermath of the dot-com bubble, TMT companies have generally had their hands full dealing with major challenges such as uncertain economic conditions, rapid technology advances and digital convergence – and, as a result, may have overlooked security. But many are now realizing that security is simply an integral part of conducting their business and thus too important to ignore.

Top Five emerging security threats

  • Instant Messaging (IM) spreads viruses and worms:
    The growing popularity of instant messaging as a form of corporate communication is extending the risk of infection. IM is often used by employees without the approval or knowledge of the IT department. Viruses, worms and other malicious code can easily be embedded into the messages received by employees, and can make their way into corporate networks with relative ease.
  • Phishing fraud becomes more prevalent and sophisticated:
    At present, phishing scams are primarily focused on the financial services industry. But as the number and variety of online transactions grows, and consumers give out sensitive personal data more frequently, it is likely that phishing operations will target a wider range of sectors, corporations, and individuals.
  • Viruses attack cell phones and PDAs:
    Last year, the number of viruses and worms that affected cell phones and PDAs increased dramatically. Antivirus software is not yet widely used in mobile phones, and they therefore represent an easy target. And as increasingly sophisticated phones synchronize with corporate networks, the risk of infection extends way beyond the mobile device – into corporate IT infrastructure.
  • Hackers target online brokerage accounts:
    The practice of using malicious code to crack passwords and obtain sensitive personal data is likely to extend beyond online brokerages. Indeed, the TMT sector is a prime target, with a growing number of consumers paying for services and content online. This trend has the potential to disrupt growing consumer confidence in e-commerce and the growing range of online services.
  • Internet crimes go unreported:
    Although the number of reported Internet crimes rose in the past 12 months, comparatively few victims filed a report or notified the police. As a result, the true extent of digital crime is probably being underestimated. Not only does this situation make catching criminals more difficult, but it also makes the process of protecting against new types of criminal activity less effective.

About the survey

The 2006 TMT Security Survey was conducted by TMT professionals of DTT member firms in over 30 countries on five continents. Data was primarily collected through face-to-face interviews with 150 TMT organizations’ security officers or their equivalent. The in-depth survey shows that although TMT businesses are making significant strides to improve their security, they still have much to do. This report examines the industry’s security issues in greater detail, and provides a number of specific insights to help companies protect their information and digital services.

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