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Simplistic Security Could Cause Corporate Collapse in 2008, Warns Secerno

Secerno warned that simplistic security solutions based on signature block lists or rules-based network security will put organisations at risk in 2008, as it becomes impossible for these products to keep up with the multitude of new attacks.

2007 has been regularly punctuated with data breaches, and as a result public awareness of data protection has risen to an all-time high of 85%. The Information Commissioner's annual report also highlighted the ICO received almost 24,000 enquiries and complaints concerning personal information over the 2006/7 period, prosecuting 16 individuals and organisations just over 12 months.

Steve Hurn, CEO, Secerno comments, "The memory of the damage caused by 2007's numerous security breaches will not fade quickly. Breaches such as the HMRC's loss of two discs affected 25 million people, whilst Leeds Building society recently lost sensitive data relating to workers payslips and just last week, the DVLA compromised 6,000 drivers after losing their sensitive information. Consumers and credit card companies will no longer tolerate what have now become exceedingly routine data loss incidences."

Secerno's annual report: "The State of Data Security 2007/8" predicts this will drive security attention from the network towards the applications, and particularly data sources. The result will be the emergence of an increased number of intelligent behavioural analysis solutions that can understand the context of requested data transfers and data flows, both into and out of organisations.

"While the business drivers of cost and centralisation make sense, the security issues pertaining to authorised access and authentication to prevent abuse of access rights to a single, large source of sensitive data are tremendous. 2008 will finally see the acceptance of monitoring and auditing procedures in an attempt to achieve control over data access through the adoption of more intelligent blocking approaches to protect enterprise scale environments," adds Hurn.

During 2007, legal compliance has also been a key driver for security spending globally. However, as complexity of compliance increases due to political pressure and government legislation, IT security purchasers will demand reporting procedures to be integrated into their existing technology platforms. Hurn believes, "This will force point solutions providers to deliver added value and security beyond audit and reporting. Those without the required assets will fade away."

Hurn concludes, "Security will increasingly become an issue of tracking and proactively securing data in its many forms, rather than seeking footprints of intruders on the network. Approaches that follow the data across the enterprise and model the behaviour of those using it will start to make headway.

"Traditional security approaches will buckle under the strain of new threats and increasing numbers of authorised users. Firewalls in complex environments can run into tens of thousands of rules. The hope that any human can understand and manage the complete picture is rather fanciful."

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.