It's all about the data

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Peter Stephenson, technology editor, SC Magazine
Peter Stephenson, technology editor, SC Magazine
There is only one reason that we bother with security of our information systems: the data. If we didn't care about who sees, damages or alters our data, we wouldn't need to waste millions of dollars on the tools of our trade. We could just hook up the networks and go out for a cold adult beverage, congratulate each other on a job well done, and update our résumés.

Sadly, that is not the case. The information is the crown jewel, your organization's most important asset. We need to protect it or we put the organization at risk. So, although we still may want those adult beverages, it's usually because of the rigors required to ensure that the information is protected. That is what this month's Group Tests are about: the data.

Reviewer Mike Lipinski will first guide us through encryption products. Encryption is the mainstay of information protection and, in fact, I have heard experts seriously suggest that it really is all that we need. Imagine a world with no firewalls, no intrusion prevention systems, none of those other tools we use routinely. All one has is encryption. I'm not sure that we are ready for that yet, but there is no doubt that encryption is probably the most critical piece in our information assurance arsenal.

I fielded the other set of reviews. This is an interesting group because we picked the three top products based on our collective experience in the SC Labs. Each of those got a more complete review – a full page instead of just half a page. For some time we have been exploring ways to increase the depth of our reviews, and this just might be the ticket. Let me know what you think. You can email me at pstephen@norwich.edu.

This second group is data leakage protection (DLP), which almost shares the spotlight with encryption as one of our most important tools in today's environment, considering the many ways to exfiltrate data from the enterprise, some malicious and some not. DLP takes attention to detail, lots of flexibility and a powerful set of tools.

We hope you enjoy this month's reviews. These are two of the most important groups of the year, and it was a pleasure to bring them to you as we all are returning from vacations and getting back into the groove. So, Halloween ghosts and ghoulies notwithstanding, may I wish for your organization's security all treats and no tricks.

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