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Inauguration Could Jump-Start Some Security Markets

Application security, identity management could benefit as U.S. hails new chief Obama
Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama as president may usher in some new opportunities for the IT security industry, according to a report published this week.

According to a Forrester Research report on the Obama administration's potential influence on IT security, new initiatives from the White House could cause the government to shift direction on some security initiatives and open up new markets for some technologies.

"[Obama] has promised to make cybersecurity his top priority, declare cyberinfrastructure a strategic asset, and appoint a national cyberadvisor who will report directly to him," notes Khalid Kark, lead author of the report. "He also has promised to bring together government, industry, and academia to determine the best ways to guard the critical government and commercial infrastructure. If these promises become reality, the current cybersecurity landscape will change dramatically, and as a result, will offer significant opportunities to companies involved directly or indirectly."

Specifically, the report points to Obama's plans to strengthen federal leadership on cybersecurity, improve e-commerce security, make cybercrime less profitable, and protect personal data. Aside from the obvious influx of government spending, these initiatives could affect the industry by encouraging (or forcing) businesses to adopt more rigorous security plans and technologies, Kark says.

These initiatives may spur the growth of some areas of security technology development, including application security, encryption, and identity and access management, the report states.

"While [identity and access management] is a huge issue that security vendors have been trying to address for a long time, government attention to the security and efficiency of [government-to-consumer] services -- as well as services in industries such as healthcare and banking/brokerage -- could be just the catalyst needed to establish identity providers, federation, and strong authentication as viable solutions to consumers," Kark observes.

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