Security Panel to IT: “Expect a Breach”

How big is the security threat facing IT?  That depends on who you ask.   At an event at the Churchill Club, a panel of security vendors agreed it’s serious, but emphasized different aspects of the challenges ahead.

SonicWall’s CEO Matt Medeiros offered a cautionary note, warning that IT security is “not going to get better in 2011 and probably a bit worse. We don’t know when the strike will come, because so much of this is done in stealth.”   Ken Silva, CTO of VeriSign, was far more explicit.   “Security threats today are less like a disease or a cancer — it’s more like a sniper shooting you in the head as you come out the door,” he said. “Malware is slipping through our most protected systems and we can’t even see the threat coming.”   Trend Micro argued that malware is the biggest security threat facing IT, siting a new threat every second.  Mocana, a company that focuses on “the 20 billion non-PC devices” being connected to more and more computer networks, said the two biggest security threats are the consumerization of the enterprise, including devices like the iPhone and social media services like Facebook and Twitter, as well as the shift to cloud computing.   Several panelists emphasized vendors need to do more to secure their products “out of the box”.

Overall, the panelists painted a bleak picture of IT security, warning about the increasing number of entry points into corporate networks, and urging businesses to codify policies governing the use of consumer technologies at work.

Verisign’s Silva added “Any company not preparing for a data breach is making a mistake.”