End Users Not the Enemy When It Comes to Security
Hansen noted that Dell tries to put as much integrated security—such as 256-bit encryption—into its PCs before they ship. And researchers at the company are looking at what they can develop for a world of mobile devices and clouds. The "old security paradigm" of protecting the data that is stored within a customer's firewall no longer works given that data is constantly moving in and out of a company's environment and from one mobile device to another, he said. "What we have to recognize is that the world is changing, and it's changing very, very fast," Hansen said, adding that the emphasis for security is expanding beyond securing the devices to include securing the data itself. Dell researchers for the past year have been working on a technology that would embed intelligence and policies into the data, enabling it to know what it is, on what device it's sitting and who is trying to access it, and then to act accordingly. The data would be self-protected, with the security traveling with it regardless of where it is going or what device it's on. Hansen told eWEEK that the technology could begin appearing within the next calendar year.Analytics also will play a role, according to Don Ferguson, a Dell Senior Fellow, vice president and CTO of the Dell Software Group. Businesses can collect a lot of information about what's happening in their environments, and analytics can help unlock what that data means, Ferguson said. "If analytics detect what's unusual, because it's unusual, it's probably a security issue," he said.
Dell's Gates said there are other projects that researchers are working on. One is looking into how the way a person uses his or her device can be used as an identifier. People's type and swipe patterns on keyboards and device displays can vary from user to user, so they possibly could be used to identify users and determine access, she said.