A debate on the future of network security has highlighted sharp divisions among delegates at Infosecurity Europe 2007 on the future of the secure network.
Opinion was divided on the impossibility of a secure network and the need to protect data, contrasted by those who felt that network security was achievable within certain parameters.
John Reece, chief executive of John C Reese Associates, said that network security was perfectly possible and that he had been one of the chief architects of the first global secure payments network built by American Express.
But Reece warned that a new approach is needed in light of the changing nature of security attacks.
"Security used to be a technical thing but now it is about doing business, and to do that you need networks," he said.
"That requires trust to be key. So in the future we will see stakeholders coming into your network as a trusted network, guaranteeing security."
But this view was sharply criticised by Stuart Okin, senior executive at Accenture. "The trusted network does not work," he said.
"It is all about securing data. That is why network security is dead, and we need to concentrate on securing data instead."
To prove his point Okin asked the packed auditorium how many of them felt that their network is secure. One person raised their hand, a result which Okin said he had seen mirrored at other meetings.
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