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Outsourcing security management

If an enterprise outsources storage to a storage service provider (SSP), is there still a need to outsource security to a managed security provider?

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I would ask a different question: What are you doing to protect your sensitive data while it is in the hands of your SSP and while it is in transit between the SSP site and yours? If you don't have an answer for that question, you have more problems to worry about than hiring a managed security provider.

Typically, an SSP is simply providing remote storage. There are no guarantees of security. Access is typically granted based on username and password. Hopefully those are sent protected via SSL or other encryption, or they are subject to being captured via a sniffer.

Is all your storage at the SSP? Do you still have e-mail and other Internet connectivity? If so, you still need to protect the computing and data assets within your company. If you need a managed security provider to do that for you, then by all means hire one.

Given the continuing reduction in size and price of storage devices, I really don't see the need for outsourcing storage. (My apologies to those in the SSP business.) For a similar viewpoint, read this CNET article titled Storage service providers: Another Internet bust?.

This was first published in March 2001

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