RSA Exec Sees Future of Security in Information Management

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2007-02-10 Print this article Print

Data becomes less secure when it travels, particularly with an increasingly mobile work force, so data security in the future is going to be tied directly to information management, says RSA's Dennis Hoffman.

"The security really needs to follow the data." That axiom came from Dennis Hoffman, an executive in EMCs RSA security division, as he discussed the direction his company will take in 2007 with eWEEK at the RSA Conference Feb. 8. It seems like common sense—data needs to be protected as it travels from place to place, just as it needs to be secure when it is at rest in a database. But companies have traditionally focused primarily on defending the perimeter of their computer networks.
For that very reason, said Hoffman, vice president and general manager of the companys the Enterprise Solutions Business Unit, information security in the future is going to be tied directly to information management. Regardless of how secure a perimeter defense is, data becomes less secure when it travels, particularly with an increasingly mobile work force, he said.
Companies need to secure their mobile work force. Read more here. Enterprises are beginning to wake up to that fact, Hoffman said, something RSA plans to capitalize on. RSA Security was purchased by data storage giant EMC last year for $2.1 billion. The move was criticized by some stockholders and analysts, and EMCs stock price took a dive when the acquisition was first announced last July. Afterward, EMC officials worked hard to reassure stockholders and the public that the merger fits in well with the companys long-term goals. A few months before purchasing RSA, EMC purchased the much-smaller Authentica, which specialized in enterprise digital rights management, to expand its footprint in the realm of authentication and content management. Similarly, with RSA also under the EMC umbrella, EMC now has a stronger hold in the authentication space as well as the space for encryption technology, Hoffman said. His comments echoed sentiments expressed earlier in the week by Art Coviello, president of RSA. Addressing a crowd during a question-and-answer session at the conference, Coviello said the company will work to expand the types of authentication methodologies available to its customers. Click here to read Art Coviellos comments, as well as ones from EMC CEO Joe Tucci, at RSA. With RSA and numerous other acquisitions under its belt, EMC President and CEO Joe Tucci predicted there would be a slowdown in acquisitions in 2007—unless, as he put it, "something phenomenal crops up." Today, EMC owns 28 percent of the global market share for data storage software and about 21 percent of the worlds market share in the external disk storage hardware market. Despite the initial criticisms following the purchase of RSA, EMC recorded strong third- and fourth-quarter numbers, Hoffman said. "Its going great," he said of the merger. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEKs Security Watch blog.

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