Editorial: Support from an unexpected ally
Editorial: Support from an unexpected ally

Just like Christmas, the SC Magazine Awards seem to come round with frightening speed - has it really been 12 months already? Unlike Christmas, however, the awards are designed to evolve and reflect a rapidly changing industry and profession, and that's exactly what happened last month.

This year we had a new location at the glorious Hurlingham Club and a streamlined awards structure with some brand new categories. We also saw two of the industry's leading women suitably honoured for their contributions over many years.

Hopefully this sent out a positive message, not just to the information security profession, but to business in general; you don't have to be male to succeed or win the respect of your peers.

You can find the full details of who won what in the commemorative book of the night that came with this issue. And if you weren't successful this time, it's never too early to start thinking about next year.

Elsewhere in this issue, Rob Buckley has been looking at the thorny subject of image spam (page 44), which has become increasingly prevalent in the past six months. As his article makes clear, the actual level of threat posed by image spam is controversial - some see it as just another form of malware that can easily be stopped, while others are less optimistic. Time will inevitably tell who's right.

Wireless networking continues to make its presence felt and Steve Gold has been taking the temperature of attitudes and strategies being deployed out in the real world. Read his report on wireless, in and outside the perimeter, beginning on page 32.

The words "adapt or die" are suitably Darwinian when it comes to assessing the corporate pressures now facing CIOs in the UK. Just like their US counterparts before them, they are a breed that is beginning to learn that their responsibility lies in the boardroom as much as the server room. Business reporter Rhymer Rigby has been looking at the growing pains of the CIO. Read his findings on page 38.

Out in the world of digital marketing an interesting controversy has arisen. There is concern over Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick, the company that tracks consumer behaviour on the web for some of the world's biggest brands.

What's bugging the marketers is the worry that the deal will give Google unrivalled power over them and media owners. Others including Yahoo! and Microsoft are looking at the threat it poses to their own online empires and hope to kill the deal with cries of anti-competitiveness.

But there is another concern around data privacy: if the acquisition goes ahead, incredible amounts of information about what we get up to on the web will be concentrated in the hands of one, already extraordinarily powerful company. Its motto is "Don't be evil" - we must ensure that with that much behavioural data in its hands, it will stand by that (rather annoying) dictum. Google's growth and power is awe-inspiring. That doesn't mean its brilliance should blind us to the dangers that its power brings with it. Enjoy the issue.