Hackers no longer the focus of information security

Information security today is not about tackling the hacker question but using security models to create business value, according to KPMG risk advisory associate director Rob Goldberg.

Pushing secured data as a tangible asset to the business, he said, will not only raise the profile of information security to the company but create a business-orientated focus around information security for competitive advantage.

Speaking at CIO Magazine's the Art and Science of Security breakfast this week, Goldberg said five-star procedures and policies, meeting and exceeding legislative and regulatory requirements like ISO 17799 is ultimately a necessity; but the real value is in enabling business process.

"It is ultimately about control, not necessarily about locking others out and making sure the services you provide, the information you are responsible for, is available to those who need it when they need it and not given to those who shouldn't have it," Goldberg said.

"Take that security model and those technologies that we are investing in and create value for the organization, create value for the customers and create competitive advantage.

"Security, from more of an overall perspective, I think is more driven by availability and integrity in today's market than it is confidentiality unless you have IP concerns, personal data protection concerns about privacy or constituent requirements. I would already bet that availability and integrity were more important to your organisation than confidentiality laws and that's kind of a shift from where we have been - most security solutions that are put forward really are focused on that confidentiality, keeping others out."

CXO Technology Advisory's founder and principal, David Boyles, said the majority of businesses today are based upon their intellectual property, this makes up most of their market value.

"Unless you are purely a commodity-based company or a very simple manufacturing company your market capitalization, the value of your company in the market, is probably primarily based on intellectual property: what the stats seem to show is that one quarter of the value for most companies is based around the balance sheet and three quarters based around intangibles-the things that don't show up," Boyles said.

"Why do auditors spend so much time tracking things that really are not that important like trucks and cars and desks and chairs and instead of tracking intangible assets?"

NetIQ systems and security general manager Matt Dirks said the market is demanding availability and integrity - the core task for a CIO and IT is to better align the business while ensuring service levels for business owners.

"Certainly there are a lot of issues in terms of the shareholder value base out there from a compliance standpoint; but these processes should be aligned to business objectives," he said.

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