[ISN] Aust companies push tech security to top priority

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Nov 05 2002 - 22:29:57 PST

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    By James Pearce 
    ZDNet Australia
    05 November 2002
    Security has pushed its way to the forefront of corporate
    consciousness, according to an International Data Corp (IDC) survey of
    Australia's medium to large organisations.
    The survey revealed that 90 percent of respondents rated security as
    "important" or "very important".
    The results showed investment in IT security was increasingly the
    result of proactive corporate policies and less a response to security
    breaches, reflecting the rise in corporate concern over hacking and
    virus infiltrations as well as a increased general awareness of
    security issues.
    However, around a quarter of respondents cited security breaches as
    driving IT security investment, indicating several companies are yet
    to properly prioritise the area.
    A key driver behind security investment included increased usage of
    the Internet and intranets, with two thirds of organisations rating
    increased Internet usage as a dominant influence of security
    Another key driver is the increase in mobile computing, with 31 per
    cent of those surveyed indicating this had a significant influence on
    Paul Ducklin, head of global support for Sophos antivirus, told ZDNet
    Australia that changes in viruses were encouraging companies to become
    more proactive. For instance, recent viruses such as Klez and Bugbear
    spoof the sender address, so the old practice of informing people they
    have a virus no long has any effect.
    "Furthermore, modern viruses commonly and deliberately send out
    confidential data, or leave behind back doors which open up networks
    to later unauthorised access," said Ducklin. "Recent beefing up of
    privacy regulations mean that confidentiality lapses of this sort are
    no longer just the IT department's problem, they are very much the
    board's problem, too."
    According to Ducklin, the big threat in the past had been that a virus
    could wipe your hard drive, but now the threat is the release of
    confidential information. "If you think about it, if you've got good
    backup you can restore a hard disk," he said. "What you cannot do is
    recall an e-mail once it has been sent."
    John Donovan, the general manager of Symantec, said the reasons for
    purchasing security hadn't changed, but there is more clarity now.  
    "The focus is coming from the top level, because they understand
    security is a business issue, not just an IT issue," he said.
    "There's a better focus on the context of those point product
    solutions and the role they play in the enterprise," said Donovan.
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