ABS flags iPhones, USB keys as a security threats

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has acknowledged that USB keys and mobile devices such as iPhones are introducing security threats into its internal IT environment.

In tender documents, the ABS said that while it deployed intrusion detection/prevention systems in the gateway environment to meet Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) requirements for an external facing government network, its internal environment remains vulnerable.

“This current deployment of network security does not extend into the internal network environment, where USB keys and other mobile devices are commonly introducing threats into the internal ABS environment by-passing gateway security processes,” the documents read.

To address the issue the ABS plans to spend up to $900,000 upping its internal security, deploying an intrusion detection/prevention solution for its internal and gateway network environments.

The ABS said the intrusion detection/prevention solution would be able to provide network protection for servers and workstations against a variety of threats and would have the ability to inspect traffic between virtual machines, including on the same physical host and VLAN, in a virtualised environment.

The agency said it was also considering additional security features which could integrate with the system, including desktop and server anti-virus, endpoint internet security, data leakage prevention (DLP), the monitoring and control of removable devices with the option to also encrypt removable storage and any other related enterprise security products.

The intrusion detection/prevention solution is part of a general upgrade of security at the ABS, with a recent announcement that it was looking to [[xref:http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/328278/abs_adopt_two-factor_authentication|adopt two-factor authentication to provide secure network authentication infrastructure for its server and workstation environments.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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