Shopping centres get internal security boost

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Shopping centres get internal security boost

Bill Goodwin
Liberty International, which manages out of town shopping centres, is rolling out detection software to secure its internal IT systems from security breaches by employees.

Liberty plans to roll out Iconium's ESP software to secure 400 Windows workstations and 75 servers linked across nine shopping centres on a wide area network.

The company said the project would raise security levels in the shopping centres to the same levels as its central London datacentre and free up staff for more productive work.

Ian McDonald, Liberty's network and operations manager, said, "We manage nine shopping centres which are distributed across the UK. We do not have an on-site technical presence. With all the will in the world you cannot manage these sites as actively as you can the site you sit in. This deployment will allow us to see any issues and act on them."

A six-month trial by the company showed that the software freed up staff time and identified issues that would otherwise be lost among thousands of events recorded in systems logs.

The software detects unusual activities, such as changes to critical files, virus activity, server restarts or administrator log-ons, and alerts operators of potential breaches using a traffic light system.

The company has been able to use the technology to monitor the progress of system changes. For example, it can detect whether back-ups have been completed successfully.

Liberty said it will be renting the software, rather than buying it to give the company more flexibility should it decide to change supplier or invest in different technology in the future.

The software, which has already been rolled out to servers and laptops, will be rolled out to desktops this year.

The company took a fresh look at its perimeter security in September, switching from Nokia to Checkpoint firewalls. It plans to add further security by partitioning its networks into secure zones using internal firewalls.

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