Will the government meet its targets for border security? ... Will terrorists launch cyber-attacks? ... Will IT security budgets go up? ... and more from around the web.
The prospect of war in Iraq has raised
new concerns about the Department of Homeland Securitys progress in
deploying the border security IT infrastructure
. Testifying at a
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing last week, Asa Hutchinson, the
departments undersecretary for border and transportation security, said
the DHS would likely meet the Dec. 31 deadline for deploying a new
entry/exit system at the nations airports and seaports. But he said the
2004 and 2005 deadlines for deploying the full array of IT systems along
the land borders with Canada and Mexico could prove too difficult and
expensive to meet.
Under law, the Department of Homeland Security has until the end of
2005 to complete the deployment of an integrated entry/exit system that
makes maximum use of biometric technologies to identify foreign visitors
to the U.S. Meanwhile, according to the National Institute of Standards
biometric facial recognition systems
have improved dramatically in
just three years to reach a 90% identification rate.
Terrorists wont strike the Internet because
bombs are more effective
, according to an expert panel at CeBIT. "I
dont see a cyberattack as a terror attack of choice," Bruce Schneier,
founder and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security said. "We are many years
away from somebody being able to launch large-scale electronic attacks
that have the effects of a bomb," Schneier said. Other panelists,
executives from security software vendors RSA Security and Trend Micro and
representatives from the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO), agreed. They blame the U.S. government, certain IT
vendors and the media for creating cyberterrorism angst.
A report released last week estimates that the
U.S. brokerage industry will spend as much as $700 million through 2005
on technology and outsourcing services in order to comply with the
antiterrorism and anti-money-laundering regulations of the USA Patriot
Act. The report by Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup says brokerages spent
$117 million on Patriot Act compliance measures last year and will invest
about $404 million this year, when most of the Patriot Acts provisions
become law. According to TowerGroup, about 39% of compliance budgets is
being spent on integrating back-end systems, and 35% is going toward new
software. Another 24% of the money is being used to upgrade IT
infrastructures, such as hardware and storage, the report says. The
remaining 2% is paying for outsourcing services with operators of customer
databases, such as Regulatory DataCorp International LLC (RDC) in New
DataPower Technology and Altova
on Monday announced the availability
of XMLSPY 5 integrated with the Datapower XS40 XML Security Gateway. The
unified solution addresses enterprise the need for centralized XML Web
Services security without requiring application developers to alter
pre-existing design and deployment practices in any way, the companies
said in a statement. Security policies within the DataPower XS40 are fully
XML-based so developers can quickly and easily use existing XML Schema,
WSDL and other XML application files to assign filtering rules, access
control and overall policy management.
A study released March 4th by Merrill Lynch, which
surveyed 75 U.S.
and 25 European CIOs,
showed that 62 percent of technology officers
feel no pressure to increase spending this year, and a good 40 percent of
their budgets will go toward preventing existing machinery from breaking.
In such an environment, security spending is likely to be squeezed even
tighter. After all, systems security tends to go unfixed until proven
broken -- in the form of sensational reports about billions of dollars in
damages wreaked by malware or hackers. CIOs also may choose to spend a
little more on technology that demonstrates return on investment and
therefore justifies itself in the eyes of management. The problem, of
course, is that security rarely contributes directly to the bottom line.