Tech Outlook 2004: A Look Ahead at Security

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2003-11-24 Print this article Print

Until companies treat security as a serious responsibility, instead of as a cost center that doesn't contribute to the bottom line, the negative trend in security will only get worse, warns eWEEK's Jim Rapoza.

In last years Tech Outlook, we predicted that 2003 would be like most other years when it came to security. We were wrong. It was one of the worst years on record for security incidents. This was highlighted in August, which saw Blaster and SoBig and was the worst month ever for damage from worm and virus infections. We cant blame the security vendors for this downward trend. From intrusion detection and prevention systems to vulnerability scanners to firewalls and hardening scripts, weve seen security products continually improve in their ability to protect systems from common attacks.

The problem is, these tools work only in the hands of a properly trained and dedicated security staff that has been given the resources and backing to secure a companys infrastructure.

Until companies treat security as a serious responsibility, instead of as a cost center that doesnt contribute to the bottom line, this negative security trend will only get worse.

Security vendors will try their best to help, and we expect to see more products and appliances that combine security applications and interfaces into systems that are easier for overworked IT staffs to manage and deploy.

One of the biggest potential changes for security is a proposed federal bill—the Corporate Information Security Accountability Act of 2003.

The legislation would require public companies to undergo security audits that would be submitted with their annual reports.

If this bill is passed, it could achieve what constant worm attacks and embarrassing security breaches have failed to do: finally make companies take IT security seriously.

See what eWEEK.coms Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer predicts for the coming year.

Check back on tomorrow for our predictions on storage and servers, followed by mobile computing and open source on Friday, collaboration and Web services on Saturday, and networking on Sunday. Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.
Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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