Nearing The Promised Land Of Tight Security

The Department of Homeland Security startup date holds special importance as companies try to balance IT security, business innovation and a continuing balky economy.

What does the March 1 startup date of the Department of Homeland Security mean for private industry? And, in particular, the parts of private industry charged with maintaining data security? That date holds special importance as companies try to balance IT security, business innovation and a continuing balky economy. In this weeks special eWeek Labs report, "Promise of Security," our Labs staff takes an in-depth look at corporate users security concerns and the actions they are taking to address these concerns. We also talk with the vendor community to find out what range of products and services they will be offering to deal with the impending regulatory security requirements.

As Technology Editor Peter Coffee writes, four promises must be kept if IT administrators are to build the best data security operations for their companies—or risk a heavy hand of bureaucracy to the detriment of innovation. Read Peters article to see how far along IT is in delivering on the promise of secure borders, internal controls, community collaboration and operations that keep the public interest at the forefront.

XML gets championed as the easy answer to every customers data integration tasks. The problem is that most data is in nonstructured, non-XML formats. See Labs analyst Tim Dycks review of VorteXML for a product designed to turn unstructured text data into a structured XML format.

For some executives, XML—and the Web services revolution the format is supposed to drive—sounds very reminiscent of past promises. Richard Soley, as chairman and CEO of the Object Management Group, oversees that organizations efforts to bring sense to the acronym-tossed sea that characterizes the Web services market. We sent Senior Writer Darryl Taft to interview Soley and ask him how the current standards proposals stack up. Darryls interview does a good job of cutting through the alphabet soup and separating the reality from the hype surrounding Web services.

There are lots of IT professionals looking for jobs, yet employers are still claiming they cant find people with the skills they need. Is the problem with the job seekers or with the people screening and hiring for the employers? In her article "Getting Beyond HR Stonewall," Mary Stevens delves into the gap between the job seekers and the employers to find ways to make end runs around a process that currently leaves all parties frustrated.

Which security promises are you keeping? Write to me at