[ISN] IT managers still overestimate security

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 02:27:33 PDT

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    Thursday 26th July 2001 
    IT Week staff   
    Only two out of 50 firewalls at a leading Swiss bank were configured
    correctly -- just one instance of security that is all that it should
    Network security is being overestimated by IT managers because they
    are failing to manage protective software properly, according to a
    security expert.
    Norbert Pohlmann, a director at Internet security specialist Utimaco
    and author of a new book entitled Firewall Systems, said the
    mismanagement of software is putting firms at risk. "We recently found
    that only two of 50 firewalls at a leading Swiss bank were functioning
    as they should, while the rest were configured incorrectly," said
    Pohlmann. "IT managers still don't seem to understand the risks. They
    spend money on security products and fail to manage them. Companies
    need to understand security at a conceptual level to reduce risk, as
    there are so many threats out there such as viruses, hackers and so
    Pohlmann recommended that the management of security systems should
    only be carried out by trusted personnel or outsourced to specialists.
    "The deployment of [security products] requires that the users be
    trained properly," he said.
    In a recent survey of 445 IT directors attending the IT Directors'
    Forum 2001, just under half said firms should appoint a dedicated
    digital security expert, compared with 31 percent who opposed this
    Analysts said IT managers find some products particularly difficult to
    configure and control, and manageability rather than price should be
    the main concern when buying a firewall product. Jos Lpez, lead
    analyst for European network security at industry watcher Frost &
    Sullivan, said, "IT managers should not base their choice of firewall
    on price, but should test products to find the right one for their
    organisation. Firewalls are something you must get right from the
    beginning." Lpez also criticised a number of manufacturers for their
    emphasis on functionality. "Some vendors focus on adding competitive
    capabilities to firewalls over ease of management," he said.
    There are a number of security-policy management solutions available
    to simplify the provisioning and management of firewalls, switches and
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