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3/10/2008
10:53 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
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Demise Of The Specialist

Security's never been an afterthought in storage, but it wasn't exactly a major cornerstone as stored bytes moved beyond the mainframe and into storage networks. Lost or stolen hard drives, laptops, and backup tapes have made big headlines in recent years, and prompted state and federal lawmakers to horn in on the act.

Security's never been an afterthought in storage, but it wasn't exactly a major cornerstone as stored bytes moved beyond the mainframe and into storage networks. Lost or stolen hard drives, laptops, and backup tapes have made big headlines in recent years, and prompted state and federal lawmakers to horn in on the act.The advent of storage security can be attributed to a number of related dynamics:

--The rise of e-commerce and online culture --The preponderance and relatively easy access to lots of personal information, whether credit card numbers, date of birth, Social Security numbers, PINs, etc. --The rising value of that information, given the number of hackers, social engineers, and good, old-fashioned thieves interested in it.

These trends are on my mind as I get ready to attend the Data Protection Summit for Byte & Switch. The three-day event is just down the road from me in Irvine. Calif., and will tackle the latest thinking where encryption's concerned, as well as Windows security and how to lock down virtual environments better. There are lots of other sessions addressing biometrics security, safeguarding mobile data, and dealing with hostile attackers.

It's indicative of the IT industry's evolution that something as specialized as storage can have a specialty within it called storage security (around which you can then build more than two dozen sessions over three days).

Storage and security used to be extremely discrete functions and skill sets -- but the Internet and information proliferation have ensured the demise of the IT specialist. Security, it seems, is everyone's job now, from the receptionist to the CEO. We'll see how these roles all converge amidst applications, networks, and new technologies during the next few days.

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