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Unisys: 'Consumerization' And Mobility Risks Are Key Drivers For Security Investments

Economy compels greater need for collaboration, more intelligent systems and better fraud prevention, according to security experts at Unisys

BLUE BELL, Pa., February 17, 2009 " The "consumerization" of technology and its blurring boundaries between personal and professional use of computers, sophisticated mobile phones and other devices, is forcing enterprises to rethink how they assess risk and protect data, according to security experts at Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS).

At same time, an increasingly mobile society and more mainstream uses for social networking sites create new potential security risks as the consumerization of technology continues to change the way people work and live. These converging trends will cause organizations to take a more integrated view of their security posture across all channels within and outside of their extended enterprises, as well as consider new uses for advanced solutions such as biometrics.

In this background, Unisys sees the following issues as security technology priorities:

1. Consumer mobility, social networking, and cloud computing will become more significant factors in how organizations determine security investments. 2. Faster, and more intelligent security systems that correlate and interpret information from multiple sources (including converging physical and data security), will become more prevalent, with economic pressures underscoring the need to break down silos among information systems. 3. Lingering troubles for financial institutions will likely constrain resources and create the potential for greater risk of financial fraud schemes. 4. Organizations worldwide will increase deployment of biometric identification technologies as consumer acceptance grows.

Consumer mobility and social networking force new thinking in risk assessment The increasing consumerization of technology creates more access points for data protection, requiring a more end-to-end view of risk, and encouraging greater collaboration by security professionals across various public and private enterprises.

"An example of the changing face of technology adoption is the tech-savvy Obama administration. Its dependence upon social networking, email and text messages to communicate directly with the world stage means we'll see even faster adoption and new uses for these technologiesand with that comes new risks," says Chris Hoff, security architect in the Systems & Technology practice at Unisys, and expert in mobility, virtualization and cloud computing. "A more connected society will drive greater focus on how various enterprises can work together to share information and better mitigate emerging data and physical security threats."

In addition, advances such as cloud computing " in which computing services are provided via the Internet to a broad range of users " will further democratize technology and prompt more risk reassessment. As boundaries for information exchange and collaboration continue to become more amorphous, enterprises will have greater need for an integrated view of their security vulnerabilities and new ways to secure their entire virtual operations.

Faster, more intelligent security systems that interpret data from multiple sources Unisys security experts see faster, more intelligent data security networks as enterprises address growing pressures to reduce cost of operations yet give users and partners access to new types and sources of information to support rapid collaborative decision-making. Advances in coordinated risk management analytics also will provide better tools to combat more sophisticated fraud attacks before they occur or cause a wide security breach. Financial institutions, for example, will work together more readily, and with government entities, technology partners, and other organizations to better identify fraud at its source.

"Technology advances in real time analytics to more easily share data and detect fraud patterns now provide greater opportunities for collaboration," says Sid Pearl, director of security solutions in the Global Industries practice at Unisys. "At the same time, the current economic climate means IT investments are under more scrutiny, and still security remains a priority. Budget pressures may actually encourage more information sharing as banks and other organizations realize ROI benefits that can result from working with others, yet still maintain ways to secure proprietary systems."

Banks' Lingering Troubles: Fraud Fears Remains; Risk May Increase Banks may have no choice but to develop new security strategies to protect data and instill greater customer trust. According to recent Unisys Security Index research on consumer fears, 60 percent of Americans said they were extremely or very concerned about credit and debit card fraud, and 62 percent expressed serious concern about the safety of their personal information.

The current financial crisis also threatens to fuel a surge in fraud with criminals viewing the downturn as an opportunity to tap into people's fears with new schemes. Moreover, layoffs and consolidations at financial institutions can weaken internal controls and risk management processes if organizations do not take proper precautions.

Upswing in worldwide biometric deployment, use and consumer acceptance According to research conducted with the recent Unisys Security Index, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of consumers around the world trust fingerprint scans to verify their identities with banks, government agencies and other organizations.

Unisys anticipates an increase use in biometric technology as a viable security solution for both public and private sector organizations.

"Worldwide trust of biometrics as a means for identity verification keeps growing, so business and governments need to keep pace," Bryan Ichikawa, vice president at Unisys and leader of the North American biometrics practice. "Biometrics provides a fast, convenient and secure method for ID credentialing in many applications, and new deployment possibilities include mobile devices such as smart phones and PDAs."

About the Unisys Security Index The Unisys Security Index is a biannual global study that provides insights into the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of security related issues. Lieberman Research Group conducted the survey in Brazil, Europe and the U.S.; Newspoll conducted the research in Asia-Pacific. The Unisys Security Index surveys more than 12,000 people in 13 countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Malaysia, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States. The study measures consumer perceptions on a scale of zero to 300, with 300 representing the highest level of perceived anxiety. For more information, visit www.unisyssecurityindex.com.

About Unisys Unisys is a worldwide information technology services and solutions company. We provide consulting, systems integration, outsourcing and infrastructure services, combined with powerful enterprise server technology. We specialize in helping clients use information to create efficient, secure business operations that allow them to achieve their business goals. Our consultants and industry experts work with clients to understand their business challenges and create greater visibility into critical linkages throughout their operations. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.

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