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TECH DEMANDS LEAD TO NEED FOR SECURITY RETHINK

Source: ZDNet UK

Posted on February 3, 2002

      Experts are warning IT managers to overhaul security procedures and techniques, prepare for Web services, more sophisticated hacker attacks and increasing technology demands from employees.

      Ian Williams, e-security managing analyst at research firm Datamonitor, said that forthcoming technologies such as Web services will create new security problems. "These technologies need to be flexible so that remote employees, partners and customers can take advantage of them, but secure enough so unfriendly forces aren't getting their hands on sensitive data," he said. He argued that for many firms it would be better to hand responsibility for security monitoring to a third party.

      Williams added that the complexity of security solutions can cause problems. "Many are quite time-intensive and need a high degree of knowledge so that they are correctly configured, and their policies maintained," he said.

      Williams also predicted that the continued threat posed by hackers would not be overcome: "The security industry is always playing catch-up with the hackers and virus authors."

      The increasing technical sophistication and demands of staff are complicating matters, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Anti-Virus. "It may be difficult for administrators to impose rules which are sensible from the security standpoint, but may be viewed as Draconian by the user base," he said.

      Denis Zenkin of antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab said commercial pressures are causing firms to cut corners with technology. "To achieve profits, firms are forced to aggressively integrate the latest IT advances, without caring how secure they are," he said.

      Graham Titterington, a senior analyst at research company Ovum, added, "There will never be perfect security, because firms are not clear enough about what they want."




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