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Corporate portals – the security risks

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Corporate portals, heavily touted by numerous vendors as a way to open up business processes on the Web, could also make life easier for hackers, the Yankee Group warns.

The analyst firm has issued a cautionary report, Corporate Portals Open the Door to New Security Concerns, pointing to the dangers inherent in extending access to a wide variety of partners and suppliers.

You are the Weakest Link. Hello

When companies extend their business processes to partners through portals, the potential for security breaches increases because a system is only as secure as its weakest link.

Access to sensitive data or applications, commonly published through portals, is often set up without adequate secondary safeguards beyond setting up an encrypted session, Yankee warns.

Firms should take time to define possible security problems before deployment and consider the use of managed services and outsourcing as a way of managing the security exposure while achieving the business benefits of using portal technology, Yankee advises.

But current versions of portal software fail to provide adequate security controls and security software is not "fine-tuned" for the environment, according to Matthew Kovar, director of the Yankee Group's security solutions & services research and consulting practice.

Consequently, it's a complex job to set up end-to-end security (which provides adequate authentication, access control and auditing) within a portal environment. This complexity makes it more likely that hacker activity will go unnoticed. ®

External links

Press release on Yankee's report Corporate Portals Open the Door to New Security Concerns

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

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