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Comment: 2011’s security challenges

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Lieberman_Software_logoThe year 2010 has been dubbed a “security Tsunami” by some in the industry. Phil Lieberman, CEO of Lieberman Software, shares his tips on how to survive 2011 and predicts the end of Windows XP for business use…

“In-house and internal threats will be a big element of 2011 as organisations begin to understand that anti-virus, malware, and phishing software is no longer effective. There will be an epiphany that critical infrastructure is under constant attack and that there is a serious need to implement more comprehensive security software, security perimeters, data loss prevention and human assets to counter the existing and expanding security threats. This will translate into a significant need for the modernisation of infrastructure and enhanced education in human resources to implement these systems.

“As the wikileaks security Tsunami shows us – the malignant insider is impossible to identify – you have to ensure that no-one has authority to access data they don’t need.

“In the coming year companies will start to understand that the insider threat is real and that their existing security culture of using weak passwords, sharing privileged passwords and never changing root passwords will lead to greater financial losses and damage to their reputations. IT will finally ‘get’ that the concept of segregation of duties, controls and regulatory compliance is not a burden, but a requirement for a well run organisation.

“In 2011 we will also see a change in mindset for security from a series of checkboxes and point in time compliance, to a new way of thinking: continuous compliance. This translates into organisations finally integrating all of their security systems together to provide an integrated view.

“We will also see a massive shift from Windows XP to Windows 7 as companies realize the impossibility of trying to secure XP against security threats. In this upcoming year we will also see many software companies discontinuing support of XP for their applications.

“The realities of the ‘cloud’ will become clearer in 2011. We will see a migration of Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) customers to more cloud-based solutions. This will be caused by small companies realising their inability to create secure, reliable and regulatory compliant solutions.

“New major breaches of data are bound to occur. Maybe they won’t be in the order of magnitude of the wikileaks saga but those organisations that don’t batten down the security hatches will be on a very turbulent sea during 2011.”