I came across this infographic recently and it started me thinking about how offices had changed from a security point of view. While the infographic threw up some obvious changes that highlight the way computer systems have been integral to businesses for many years, we could not have achieved this if our data security had not evolved at a similar or even greater rate.

Related : Securing Your Home Wireless Network

Why a Greater Rate of Data Security Development?

It may seem that new products, both software and hardware are hitting the market at a phenomenal rate, but how many times have products arrived that are then exposed for having gaping security holes? Consider famous instances where hackers have plundered public or customer data and things like the Sony’s PSN and the resulting fine for a breach of the Data Protection Act come to mind.

Breaches of those magnitudes are enough to wipe out confidence in smaller companies, but Sony is large enough to ride out the storm and a few product launches later, it’s hardly an issue. How different would it be if a smaller business’ flagship product fell flat on its face because of data breaches?

Then it occurred to me that we use a BYOD (bring your own device) system in our office, where everyone is able to log into the network using their own devices, be it laptops, tablets or whatever else they want to use. When I first started working in IT, we weren’t allowed to insert a floppy disk into the company’s systems unless the disk had gone through a virus scan first. The fact that there were no systems in place to scan disks for viruses meant that we simply couldn’t take work home with us.

The Difference in Data Security Today

Anyone who took the time to consider the relaxed attitude of today’s workplace could be fooled into thinking we’ve sacrificed security for convenience, but a little digging shows why there are less concerns today that twenty+ years ago when my disk was deemed a risk.

I came across the Dell data security setup aimed at our BYOD setup and could see that for every new risk, there seems to be at least three or more protection techniques to counter any threat. The Sonic Wall from Dell sounds like something from a science fiction movie, especially withits in-built intelligent listening and context awareness. It sounds almost like an artificial intelligence engine that is able to make informed decisions about data security.

The question is, are we safer now in data security terms and we were in the 80s? Obviously, there are more risks involved because there are more instances of data accessible on networks. What is apparent is the fact that for every new risk, the data protection and security experts are making multiple solutions to counter them before the product hits the market.