'04 will bring changes in small business security, forensics certs and more

From the Editors:
We've challenged our expert contributors to foretell what 2004 has in store for infosecurity. Read what all of our experts had to say, and let

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us know what you foresee in 2004.

Ed is the president of LANWrights, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of iLearning.com. Ed has been working in the computing industry for 20 years and has worked as a software developer, manager, writer and trainer. As a contributing expert on SearchSecurity, he answers your questions on information security training and certification. Send Ed your questions or comments on his predictions via our Ask the Expert feature.

Last year, I got nearly all of my security predictions right, but alas, a bad report card on government security meant that although government and industry did plenty of handling of security incidents, this apparently didn't do much to elevate the competence and capability in the government arena. Look for that situation to generate lots of hand wringing, congressional investigation and oversight, and hopefully, some positive changes and improvements in 2004.

Managed security for small businesses, both on in-company networks (servers, desktops, devices and so forth) and on off-premises equipment (traveling notebooks and laptops, as well as home office machines) is going to skyrocket in 2004, in the wake of wholesale infections and massive downtime following Blaster, Welchia, SoBig and so forth.

Given the more than 30 certifications now available on computer forensics topics, I expect a big shakeout in this area in 2004, with a few key players rising to the top of the heap, and others being edged out of visibility and acceptance.

More and better security appliances should make the scene, with an increasing array of add-ons (content and e-mail filters, in particular) to extend firewalling and content management once and for all into the application layer.

Businesses and organizations will be migrating to newer, faster wireless networking technologies, not just because of improved performance and range, but also because of stronger default security, encryption, and resistance to eavesdropping and war driving.

That's it for me! Thanks, and have a happy, safe and prosperous 2004.

This was first published in December 2003

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