New storage research enhances security fears

Data storage requirements and concern over data security are both increasing, according to a recent survey whose administrator said quantifies what people connected to the industry have long believed.

Respondents to the survey, designed in consultation with the Secure Networked Storage Advisory

Council and administered by Toronto-based security solutions provider Kasten Chase Applied Research Ltd., said their storage requirements will grow by 31 per cent in 2003 and another 34 per cent in each of the following two years. Ninety-four per cent said their clients are increasingly concerned about the security of their data and 97 per cent said their customers and investors might lose confidence if adequate security measures could not be demonstrated.

“”All the tings we’ve quoted are intuitive,”” said Hari Venkatacharya, chair of the Secure Networked Storage Advisory Council and senior vice-president of secure networked storage for Mississauga, Ont.-based Kasten Chase. But this is the first time it’s been quantified.””

Eighty three per cent of respondents reported having at least one storage area network, with 4.3 SANs being the average.

The results were culled from 103 responses gathered at three North American industry conferences this spring. Government accounted for the most responses (41 per cent) followed by financial services (14 per cent), manufacturing (11 per cent) and health care (six per cent). The remaining 28 per cent were spread out across technology, consulting, retail, education, telecom and legal market sectors.

“”It was good to get some quantitative information from a segment that is security focused,”” said Robert D’Souza, advisory council member and director of systems architecture for San Jose, Calif-based SAN vendor Brocade Communications Systems Inc., said of the survey’s results

D’Souza said the information was especially useful, given its respondents used a variety of SAN vendors and 34 per cent of actual respondents were either SAN administrators or architects, while CEOs, CSOs and CIOs together composed only five per cent.

“”You’re actually talking to the right constituency,”” he said.

Venkatacharya said the increased concern over security is being driven both by government and a general mistrust of large companies.

“”I would say post-Enron and WorldCom, the amount of mistrust between consumers and corporations is enormous,”” he said, adding a recent spate of publicized breaches, including the theft of Investors Group and Sasktel Co-operaters Insurance client information, has only eroded that confidence more.

“”A year ago, people were saying ‘storage security, who cares?’ But in the last six months, there’s been so many breaches recorded, it’s become an issue of credibility,”” he said. “”People are really waking to the idea of storage security today.””

Legislation is also demanding better security, Venkatacharya said, pointing to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act in the U.S. and California’s Bill 1386, which would require companies and state agencies report breaches where unencrypted personal information was believed to be acquired by an unauthorized party.

“”No company wants to report a breach,”” he said. “”Companies that are excepted are ones that encrypt their data.””

As for governments themselves, Venkatacharya said they are moving well on the issue of security. “”We’re seeing a positive trend in governments

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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