Di Data preaches good security habits

Di Data preaches good security habits

Creating and maintaining good security habits was the key message delivered at a recently completed Dimension Data security roadshow.

The systems integrator held the seminars, which were targeted at the corporate and government sector, in conjunction with Cisco and Microsoft. In total, more than 400 people attended the events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.

The three companies hit the road together following last month's announcement that Cisco and Microsoft would share and integrate security technologies. All espoused better use of security as opposed to more spending.

"If you look at the statistics, products are getting better, the number of vulnerabilities in the past 12 months has decreased and clients are spending more money on security products," Dimension Data CTO, Gerard Florian, told a security roundtable discussion in Sydney.

"The issue is that although budgets are flat, there is a disproportionate increase in spending on security," he said.

"This redirects funds away from more beneficial activities like mobility or e-commerce.

"Organisations are spending more money on better products but not getting the results. We need to encourage a culture where security is not down to one or two people. It must come from board level and filter down to every member of staff."

Microsoft Australia managing director, Steve Vamos, said the initiative between the three companies paid tribute to the fact that security was an issue that could not be solved by one individual player.

"The concerns that we face as an industry span issues that encompass business process, the deployment of technology, technology itself and the attitude people have to security," he said.

"A very basic and simple example is all of us need to upgrade our attitude towards passwords and the way we set our passwords up. Those of us that still have our dog or our daughter's name as our password should be thinking very carefully about that."

Customers wanted an equal balance of privacy, protection and control, according to Cisco Australia managing director, Ross Fowler.

Cisco was promoting its concept of a self-defending network, he said, because of the ever increasing speeds at which infections spread.

"The first generation spread around the world in days; Slammer took about 15 minutes," he said. "The fourth generation will spread in seconds and those who don't have an end-to-end security solution won't be able to cope." While organisations have become more aware of security issues when purchasing new technology, Dimension Data CEO, Steve Nola, said most breaches could be traced back to legacy equipment.

"IP telephony is very secure because it is built with security in mind," he said. "PABX systems can create a big security hole because they haven't been looked at for many years. They just sit in the corner gathering dust and customers are losing hundreds of millions of dollars through scams.

"There has to be a cultural change in the way security is used, and an education program becomes really important in terms of how we teach users at all levels about what it is that actually protects your environment."

The development of new security services around risk assessment and vulnerability would be a key focus for Dimension Data in 2005, Florian said.

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