Security strategies: fortress or airport?

Tuesday, 4 February 2003, 11:21 AM EST

Electronic commerce or e-business as it’s more commonly called is a fact of life. However, the options for doing business securely using public (electronic) networks are less clear and increasingly costly.

Highly sophisticated hackers and hacking tools, organised hactivism, poorly engineered software, cyber terrorism, identity management and lack of corporate security management are some of the most important internal and external challenges for organisations looking to trade electronically.

Gartner research director Steve Bittinger uses fortress and airport metaphors for two potential extremes in IT security. Simply put, the fortress allows little movement in and out using a single-dimensioned security mechanism (a moat and draw-bridge). The fortress produces a reasonably secure operation, but one not able to support business in a global marketplace that demands rapid and flexible business models.

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