[ISN] Application service providers urged to ensure security

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 11 2002 - 00:58:50 PST

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    Agence France-Presse 
    SINGAPORE (March 10, 2002 10:38 a.m. EST) - About a quarter of online
    application service providers lack standard protections against
    security breaches and viruses, an industry monitor said Friday.
    International Data Corp. said that of 50 ASPs they surveyed worldwide,
    25 percent lacked fundamentals such as user authentication, virus
    protection, network security and firewall services.
    "Although the majority of respondents seem to have the basics down,
    there are still ASPs offering customers access to applications in an
    unprotected environment," IDC said in a statement.
    "IDC considers this unacceptable and strongly recommends that ASPs do
    not enter the market unprepared."
    While warning that security breaches would "set back the industry as a
    whole," IDC did not identify the erring providers.
    Jessica Goepfert, manager with IDC's ASP and application management
    services research program, said: "It's up to the ASP to stay on top of
    these security systems in order to simply stay in the game."
    The ASP market currently is crowded and undergoing consolidation, IDC
    said, urging players to "understand that security is essential to
    winning new customers and propelling mainstream adoption."
    It called on ASPs to "continue to educate the market" about the
    security measures they have taken.
    "High-end ASPs that are rolling out enhanced security services are
    setting a strong example, and new entrants would well be served to
    observe," Goepfert said. "In fact in recent months, IDC has witnessed
    announcements from leading ASPs that demonstrate this trend and
    commitment to providing state of the art security services."
    Application service providers are companies that provide services over
    the Internet. They own and operate software applications as well as
    the servers that run the application and make profits by billing their
    The rising incidents of security breaches and virus attacks into
    corporate networks have raised the importance of protective shields
    provided by ASPs.
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