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As more and more organizations are opening up their enterprise networks to the Internet for business communications and e-commerce, network security is becoming a major concern. A host of security products are available to address issues such as authentication, encryption, authorization and traffic filtering. Enterprises implement various combinations of these point solutions to secure their networks.

However, security managers are realizing that monitoring and analyzing the copious volumes of data generated by these products is a tedious and error-prone task. It has become imperative that enterprises deploy a heterogeneous security management solution that would integrate all the point solutions to provide centralized administration and implement an automatic response mechanism to battle security threats.

In an Internet economy, imagine having your "secure" customer list or accounting information made available to your competitors or, worse, corrupted or deleted. Would you still be in business? Words like credibility, customer confidence and lost revenue easily come to mind. So how do you protect your position and minimize or eliminate threats impacting the ability to compete?

Take it from the top. Simply put, a large part of self-preservation comes from knowing what data and processes need protecting and how to find and handle threats--a process not unlike having an annual physical or shopping for an insurance policy. The more precise the evaluation, the more precise the recommendation.

Consider stringent, top-management-mandated evaluations when the cost of loss is traumatic; consider line-managed processes otherwise. On the high end, for example, use asset analysis, definition of security objectives, threat analysis, impact analysis, risk calculation, constraints analysis, counter strategy development and implementation, and assurance tactics.

For faster deployment on the noncritical path, understand the current policies and procedures, create possible attack profiles, summarize current weaknesses and create technical guidelines to establish baseline security measures. Project managers embark on ambitious projects involving state-of-the-art Internet technologies, but often little attention is paid to security. This aspect alone can spell disaster for the project.


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