Emerging tech fuels security risks

Alex Kayle
By Alex Kayle, Senior portals journalist
Johannesburg, 10 Mar 2010

Today's technology trends are likely to have a significant impact on information security in the future.

This is the view of Tony Olivier, Standard Bank manager for GSO strategy and architecture, who will speak at ITWeb's fifth annual Security Summit from 11 to 13 May at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Olivier cautions that cloud computing, the rapid evolution of technologies, and the rate at which individuals are putting private information onto the Internet are spurring security risks in the corporate market.

“Cloud computing is one of the most concerning technologies in terms of corporate security,” explains Olivier. “An organisation can place its data in the cloud hosted by a service provider, but the organisation cannot necessarily enforce information security controls in the cloud and there are very few guarantees that the hosted service provider will conform to security standards.”

Oliver says generally, not enough is being done to secure data in the cloud. “We face many new trends simultaneously with the evolution of cloud computing, social networking, and Web 2.0. The collective impact of these technologies on security is difficult to determine.”

ITWeb's 5th annual Security Summit

More information about ITWeb's Security Summit, which takes place on 11-13 May 2010 at the Sandton Convention Centre is available online here.

He adds that the proliferation of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have resulted in an increase in the level of information sharing taking place. This means information is more accessible for cyber criminals to collect and use to perpetrate fraud, says Olivier.

In addition, government frameworks are effectively playing catch-up with new technology. “Governance frameworks are not implemented as quickly as new technologies are being deployed. The gap between the rate of change that security is playing catch-up with is widening.”

According to Olivier, with the King III Code on Governance coming into effect, IT has become prevalent to corporate governance for the first time. He notes the code will enforce transparency within the enterprise and that organisations will need to do a lot more to make sure personal and financial information is securely protected.

According to Gartner, by 2012, 20% of all businesses globally will own no IT assets, as the majority of their information will be hosted off-site. The research firm says the cloud computing market will expand from proprietary mega-providers to ecosystems and supply chains of providers, to thousands of smaller providers.