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Mobile and cloud demand new security approach, says IBM guru

05 Oct 2012
IBM server

Mobile and Cloud computing is changing the way IT thinks about security, according to IBM senior security executive Jack Danahy.

Danahy recently spoke with V3 about the emerging trends and challenges facing enterprises, including the paradigm shift facing companies thanks to advanced mobile and cloud computing.

"Our job has gone from being the people responsible for saying 'no', to moving to a place of seeing where we can go," Danahy said.

As the consumerisation of IT continues to grow and change the landscape of how enterprise does business, Danahy says the way companies think about security also needs to change.

Danahy said IT chiefs needs to start thinking about security challenges that can arise from the onset and that enterprise needs to start by thinking that what can go wrong and then figure out what to do to prevent it.

"The right people can break into anything," Danahy added.

Danahy uses the example of a company first deciding what sort of information is truly necessary on a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) smartphone as the sort of forward thinking necessary for the evolving security world.

Mobile device management (MDM) help, he said, but that true security needs to be done with forward thinking and education.

"Security is boring for people who don't do it for a living. So we need to make it interesting," said Danahy.

A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report tends to lends credence to Danahy's point.

The PWC study showed that 82 percent of data breaches stem from employee error. PwC study shows that most hackers are gaining illicit access because of a lack of formal mobile security measures or employee awareness programmes.

IBM's Danahy also pointed out that the new tools available to enterprise are making firms more aware of security. Danahy specifically points to the cloud as a key area of growing concern for businesses.

Danhy says that as data moves outside of a company's control it starts to worry more about security.

"As human beings we are control freaks," he mused. "If it is inside their walls, people think its safe."

The nature of trusting another company to handle your data has given some firms pause recently. A recent Mimecast study, done in conjunction with the V3 Security Summit, found that 45 percent of surveyed companies thought security is the biggest concern to adopting any cloud computing services.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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