The newly appointed head of a security body that was launched in December to bring together UK vendors, government and businesses, says its first actions are still six months away.
The Security Alliance for Internet and New Technology (Saint) was launched last December to promote security awareness and best practice in the UK.
But almost eight months after it was set up, the body is only just starting to formulate a plan of action on the back of a three-month consultation process to work out what the group's initial IT security issues should be.
Saint last month appointed Nick Coleman, head of security services at IBM, as chairman of its executive committee. Coleman denied that months of inaction would damage the group's credibility.
"It's too early to say what those deliverables will be but we will know more by the end of September. It's important to get something done quickly but also properly. Without consultation you can build something that people don't support," Coleman said.
Three working groups have now been set up focusing on information security education and training, guidelines for creating a business case for security and creating an industry security website for the UK with information from vendors, government and other organisations.
Each working group is scheduled to conclude after six months of operation, and no more than four groups will operate at any one time to avoid spreading resources too thinly.
"We want people to come together to address issues they have in common to add value to their organisations. We want to move away from being a talking shop to getting real deliverables," Coleman added.
Saint executive members include Symantec technical director Richard Archdeacon;Jeremy Beale, head of the CBI's e-business group; John Harrison, head of e-business security at Smart421; Steve Marsh, the director of security policy at the Office of the e-Envoy; and Geoff Smith, head of the DTI's information security policy group.
The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) has yet to formally commit its support, but Coleman said it was likely only to be a matter of time.
Chris McNab, technical director of security consultants Matta Security, welcomed the Saint initiative. But he warned that the body had its work cut out.
"It's good to have groups to fly the flag and raise awareness but the technical slant on security is so complicated in most business environments, it comes down to a resource thing. If companies are aware of the threats they still need technical people to go through the motions of securing the systems," McNab said.
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