Peter Stephenson, technology editor, SC Magazine
Peter Stephenson, technology editor, SC Magazine

It's a new world. Today we can carry more computing power in our pockets than it once took a room full of computers to provide. But, there are attendant security issues.

This month, we are taking under consideration two problem areas and one old standby. The whole notion of mobile devices that outperform the computers of yesterday demands security solutions that address the challenges inherent in the computer in your pocket. Thus, one area that we will examine is mobile device security. The old standby – encryption – is one of the reasons that we are able to begin to secure these handy little gadgets. We'll add encryption to this month's mix. 

Then, in our second Group Test: Emerging Products, we'll dive into a burgeoning area of interest – one that both takes the computer out of your pocket and moves it to the internet, and then tries to secure it wherever it happens to be. When we think of cloud computing we usually think of putting our data “in the cloud” – really just somewhere on the internet. However, we can move the entire computing paradigm off of our own computers and sit it somewhere – who knows where – in a “cloud.” So it's not just data that is at risk. It's the whole shebang: data, applications, operating environments and, we hope, security.

This particular group has six cloud security applications. When we strip the hype and trendy jargon away, we are left with an important reality: You are placing your application/data/whatever on someone else's server located outside of your control, with contractual issues that probably prevent you from doing all of the things you would do routinely if you were in control and expected to feel safe. That's what our emerging products are all about.

What this month has to offer is a couple of hot areas that need lots of security, the solutions to those challenges, plus the perennial choice for security at just about any level: encryption. It is fitting that old meets new this way because when all else fails it is encryption that saves the day. 

Mix that with the new generation of computing paradigms and you've got the real deal: A secure environment that you can carry in your pocket or access from anywhere in the world that you happen to be at in that the moment.