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Perimeter

6/23/2009
05:33 PM
Lorna Garey
Lorna Garey
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Forewarned Is Forearmed, Right?

Next-gen Web apps and virtualization are two topics much on the collective mind of CIOs and line-of-business leaders. Of course, they're seeing dollar signs from slick eye-candy RIAs and cramming 20 VMs on each physical server. Security? Meh.

Next-gen Web apps and virtualization are two topics much on the collective mind of CIOs and line-of-business leaders. Of course, they're seeing dollar signs from slick eye-candy RIAs and cramming 20 VMs on each physical server. Security? Meh.In our new report, Setting Priorities For Next-Generation Web Apps InformationWeek Analytics polled 416 technical and business decisionmakers to get their take on the newest ways to let attackers in, er, present your business. The message: If your LOB leaders aren't yet clamoring for RIAs, they will be. By getting ahead of this trend, infosec groups can maintain at least some semblance of control over governance and security, and the technologies used to build these apps.

For example, we posit that RIAs deployed with Adobe AIR's digitally signed "security model" will be even less secure than RIAs deployed in Web browsers, which at least must execute JavaScript on a Web page inside a security sandbox that prevents the script from stealing information or damaging files if it is, in fact, malicious.

As for virtualization, no matter how excited the CIO may be about running enterprise applications in a VM, if we can't keep data safe, all the savings in the world don't add up to a hill of beans. But is your leadership thinking in these terms, or are the cost reductions promised by virtualizing production systems overshadowing security and privacy?

Frankly, from an infosec perspective, the news isn't good. For our report, Unlocking Virtualization: Facing IT, Business Realities, InformationWeek Analytics polled 348 business technology professionals in a range of industries. Just 25% of respondents planning to deploy virtualization say security is a significant concern. And on a list of eight inhibitors to using VMs in production, security concerns came in sixth (13%) ... just ahead of an inability to manage application health/updates using existing tools (2%) and the ever-popular "other" (1%). Nice, huh? Our advice to security pros: Understand where virtualization zealots are coming from by perusing full poll results and our analysis and recommendations.

Full disclosure: Registration is required for both these reports, and yeah, someone will probably call you. But journalists have to eat, too.

Lorna Garey is executive editor of InformationWeek Analytics. She formerly was executive editor of Network Computing. Special to Dark Reading. Lorna Garey is content director of InformationWeek digital media. View Full Bio

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