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Pundits issue security warning

Firms must abandon reliance on traditional network perimeter, otherwise they will 'face extinction.'


September 1, 2008  


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Enterprises that fail to deploy secure, perimeter-free global IT networks within the next three to four years could face extinction, according to two IT security experts.

Becky Bace and David Lacey made the prediction during a recent conference call organized by the Jericho Forum, an international IT security thought-leadership association dedicated to advancing secure business in a global open-network environment.

During the session, Bace and Lacey said enterprises need networks that can quickly and securely connect to skyrocketing numbers of new business opportunities. They added that networks protected by traditional corporate perimeters cannot accommodate global connectivity demands.

“The value of a network increases exponentially with the number of participants, therefore if you are going to wall off yourself from the rest of the world, you’re not going to get as much value,” said Lacey.

The speakers said that forward-looking enterprises are implementing new strategies and deploying new breeds of solutions that allow them to protect data inside the network perimeter. That leaves them free to re-engineer their traditional defenses so that they can quickly, easily and securely connect to external business opportunities.

“The number of opportunities to connect is skyrocketing and I don’t see any end in sight,” said Bace. “The notion of a perimeter anymore is just gone.” Bace added that the ability to adapt to this stark reality is becoming “the line that separates businesses that will be here three to four years from now versus businesses that won’t.”

The value of a network increases exponentially with the number of participants, therefore if you are going to wall off yourself from the rest of the world, you’re not going to get as much value, said Lacey. “The real money is in the growing markets with exponential curves, those are the ones you want to ride on and to do that you’ve got to extend your networking capability across larger and larger networks,” he added.

Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Bace is a venture consultant with Trident Capital where she oversees security investments for the firm.

Lacey is a leading authority on Information Security Management with more than 20 years professional experience, most recently as Director of Information Security and Risk Management for the Royal Mail Group in London, England.