It’s OK, and maybe even fashionable, to gain a little weight over the holidays. But not in IT. So let’s talk about bloatware in security -- layer upon layer of separate security and anti-virus applications.
IT administrators install firewall and application security. That security is increasingly being downloaded from the cloud and then left to run without any real oversight. Then -- and here's the kicker -- end users (a.k.a., your staff) are being prompted directly to install AV and spyware upgrades and patches right to their PCs. Those prompts run right through the firewall because they generally arrive from the security vendor. The end result: bloatware. End users don't question the anti-virus update and just install it thinking it came from IT. What's more, most of this happens on the road with an increasingly mobile workforce.
Jeb Carter, owner of Defendersoft in Dallas, has seen this happen over and over again. That buildup of bloatware adds pounds to your storage capacity. Storage is cheap, but think about it: bloatware can cost real money. When you get a notification from your bank or your e-mail service provider or even from a clothing company from which you buy sweaters that, "Because of routine network upgrades, we apologize but we will be offline all day Sunday," what many of them are really saying to you is, "We need to clean house of bloatware."
Computers don't care. They just do what they're told. Bloatware slows your network, aggravates customers, eats up your storage, frightens your employees (who, in this economy, mostly remain silent), and can ultimately run up your bills and lower your revenue. The solution to this is a partnership with a single security adviser. And I know none of you want to hear this, but a rip-and-replace of your firewall and application security products in favor of a more integrated approach to layered security might not be a bad investment.
So here's a conference call idea for the New Year: Bloatware.