Infosecurity: BT says vendor community must collaborate

Industry leaders must develop more collaborative technology in order to protect businesses from cyber threats or risk being surpassed by competitors, BT warned today.

Speaking at Infosecurity Europe 2007 in London, security experts at the British corporation said that there are fundamental shifts occurring in business technology that make it imperative for vendors to adopt a more combined approach.

Convergence, flexible working, the regulatory environment and collaboration means that security products must be developed and based on open standards for interoperability to reflect the changing business landscape, according to BT.

While many organisations are reaping the benefits of enabling their workforce mobile access to the corporate network, BT believes that stricter security measures need to be implemented to manage identity and access management.

“Collaboration is nothing new,” said Ray Stanton, global head of BT’s business continuity, security and governance practice. “Today though, technology is redefining the level of collaboration that is possible: modern networks now allow industry rivals to share data to ward off fraud; businesses from different sectors co-develop products; extended supply chains are automating shared processes. This way of working, combined with the other trends, throws up serious implications for security. But it also offers valuable lessons for security vendors.”

Business executives believe that collaboration is paramount to the future success of their companies, according to research by BT and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The study found that 64 per cent of organisations already cooperate with others, while more than half said collaborative relationships will play a crucial role in their firm’s business over the next three years

“End users know that in order to effectively and securely seize new opportunities, common standards and technologies are needed,” Stanton added. “Without them, the job of configuring disparate systems to gauge risk levels, and of allowing supplier and partner devices to communicate with a firm's IT network is made significantly harder.

“Collaboration is re-sculpting the way business functions, and vendors would do well to jump on the ‘collaborative’ bandwagon not only because they have a duty to offer the best protection possible to their customers, but because it may also be critical to their own long-term survival.”


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