We asked security pros to give us their industry predictions for the New Year. Here's what Scott Baetz had to say.
When considering the security issues of 2002, I think we need to look at the source. Traditionally security attacks were crafted from the abilities of your stereotypical darkroom techhead attempting to score a "Neo"-like Matrix handle as a result of their economic attack on business. While malicious in intent, the structure and design of historical attacks were not purposeful for gain; while they harmed the recipient, the virus/attack did not directly benefit the techhead. Me thinks that the next evolution of security will be the defensive of purposeful and FUNDED attacks designed against a single entity, organization or government.
In 2000 and 2001, we heard rumors that nations such as China have begun to fund the "Computer War" against other nations. As much as this might sound like a "007 World Domination" story line, why not? If the funded attacks allowed for better designed code, then it is quite possible that businesses will begin to extract critical financial data, customer lists and other knowledge points, all undetected. Suddenly, your competitor could release your own product days before you!
With funding behind security attacks, I suspect you will see the following action items in the cross hairs of the Chief Security Officer in your organization:
Encryption of E-mail - Place the burden upon third party encryption companies.
Elimination of Attachments - Pull, not push, files through FTP.
Security of Networking Hardware - Funded hackers might break into the switches/routers/etc.
Centralized Desktop Management -- Unfortunately, control tends to become centric during a security crisis.
Diversification of NOS - Linux, Windows2000 and Solaris combined create a larger threat then homogeneous NOS networks.
Scott is the director of MIS for TechTarget, an IT-specific multimedia organization. He believes that the IT role has become more like combat than even sales, although he enjoys unveiling the mystery of IT problems with a business focus. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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