The ATM celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Some of the oldest cash machines still in use today date back to an era when network security was relatively unsophisticated. Protecting connections between large numbers of disparate ATMs and the banks’ processing centers using VPNs is relatively straightforward. Yet, some banks have not yet taken adequate protective measures. As the Internet of Things gathers pace, the need to protect machine-to-machine communications is becoming urgent. Cybercriminals’ recent success in carrying out remote attacks on ATMs is a timely reminder of how important secure remote connectivity has become for M2M environments.
Cloud computing has been around now for about a decade. It offers companies the chance to lease computing resources and services on-demand over the Internet from cloud services providers. In this way, companies gain the freedom to quickly scale IT systems up and down in line with changing business circumstances as well as keep up with the latest technology advances. The cloud services model is also a lot more cost effective than equivalent in-house deployments. Yet, despite all of this, many organizations still hesitate to embrace cloud services citing remote access security concerns, especially when employees are connecting to cloud applications when on the road. To address such concerns, providers can offer their customers remote access out of the cloud or VPN as a service.
Data protection is considered important, the Federal Data Protection Act is well established and German companies really should be absolute experts in data protection by now. However, a quick reality check shows that data protection is not quite as advanced as it might seem either due to lack of knowledge or deliberately ignoring data protection and profiting from selling customer data. Some readers may however take comfort that data protection is taken somewhat more seriously in Germany in comparison to the rest of the world where privacy and data protection issues are not even considered by decision and policy makers.