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Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/27/2006
07:59 AM
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Looking Over the Overlooked

Some honorable mentions that didn't make our 'Top 10 Most Overlooked Aspects of IT Security' story

6:00 PM -- When we put together our story on the 10 most overlooked aspects if IT security this week, we received a ton of suggestions from a wide range of experts. (See The 10 Most Overlooked Aspects of Security.) In fact, instead of fielding a Top 10 list, we could have made it a Top 20, or even a Top 25, but we decided our readers might want to do something else today besides read a single story.

Clearly, in the rush to secure enterprise data, there is a wide variety of issues and technologies that frequently get short shrift. No matter what your industry, there are going to be aspects of security that you simply can't get to. And, depending on one's role, those oversights may peek out on the business side, on the technology side, or on the architecture side.

The following is a list of "honorable mention" aspects of IT security that are frequently overlooked. These are some of the ones that didn't make it into our Top 10 story, but are important nonetheless. If you have others you'd like to suggest, please post a comment to the message board associated with this blog or to the board that's linked with our main story. We'd love to hear from you.

  • Timely patch management: While vendors continue to inundate users with updates and patches that fix newly discovered security holes, many IT organizations simply don't have the time -- or the will -- to make those updates immediately. As a result, some patches are back-burnered for weeks, even months, and some never make it out to elusive end users who are constantly on the road.

  • Integration of security products: After years of fighting the IT security wars, many organizations have amassed an arsenal of hardware, applications, and analysis tools that were purchased to solve various vulnerabilities and threats that have occurred over the years. However, most organizations overlooked the need to integrate those tools for more comprehensive troubleshooting. Today's security information management tools may help, but deeper integration is needed, experts say.

  • Demonstrating the value of security: Many IT people still believe that there is no way to prove the return on investment (ROI) of security products. But these people are overlooking a good deal of current research which helps to build the business case for investment in security technology. And without a solid ROI story, many security pros still find it difficult to get the budget they need to make important purchases.

  • Vulnerability scanning: Security pros are constantly on the lookout for holes in their infrastructures, but many continue to overlook some of the emerging technology that can help. Vulnerability scanning tools, which can be purchased for internal use or brought in by a third-party auditor, can help to expose key flaws in the infrastructure without manual analysis. Vulnerability scanning tools and services don't catch everything, and they shouldn't be used in a vacuum, but they can put you on the right track to shore up your infrastructure.

    Got more of these? Let us hear from you. We promise not to overlook your input.

    — Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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