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July 2003

How to address SAN architecture security weaknesses

Terabytes of sensitive data distributed among efficient but vulnerable storage area networks (SANs) have swept away the notion of storage as a closed, secure system. "As people do disaster recovery, as they connect multiple sites to move data from primary to secondary sites, that's when a lot of security issues have to be thought about," says Jamie Gruener, an analyst for The Yankee Group. At risk is your organization's most mission-critical data: intellectual property, CRM information, credit card numbers, patient records and so on. SANs are high-performance, dedicated storage networks, centralizing management of vast and distributed storage arrays--but they are not secure. That means you've got to be concerned, especially if your previously unconnected SAN islands are linked across the WAN to maximize storage capacity or extend DR/BC capability. Our examination of SAN architecture reveals security weakness throughout, from the app server to the storage array. That's the bad news. The good news is that the new storage security ...

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