Digital Britain: Prepare for Workplace 2.0

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Businesses should take steps now to make sure they are safeguarded against the threats that could result from increased broadband connectivity, according to a new report from Sonicwall and analyst Quocirca.

One of the end goals of the Digital Britain strategy with the planned rollout of a nationwide fibre broadband network and businesses need to make sure they are prepared for the consequences.

Businesses are having to push more connections out both to employees working in different locations and offices, in addition to partners, according to the report.

There will also be more home working, and an increasing number of workers will start to stretch networks with laptops and other mobile devices, with an increasing number of applications.

Businesses will be using the internet for real-time, mission-critical applications, as well as newer forms of communication such as IM and social networking.

Rob Bamforth, principle analyst at Quorcirca, said: "Many of them are bled over from the consumer side into business usage."

He added: "There's a need to protect, manage, secure and control. The network capabilities are a great opportunity for many organisations, but there are risks and challenges, and these need to be addressed."

Bamforth also said that organisations, such as hospitals, also need to deal with increased connectivity.

For example, doctors and consultants will often be out of hospital grounds, handling devices that contain sensitive data on patients and these will need to be secured for privacy reasons.

"Previously we might have looked at something like perimeter security. A barrier that you can put around it. A firewall that you can put around the organisation. Walls around the building," he said.

"You can't do that now. The walls had fallen down. You have to protect the streams and flows of information of the services themselves. That's another part of the challenge."