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Stripping security down to the data level

The IP revolution starts in Boston...maybe

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EMC World Today’s security software is ineffective when it comes to protecting data, according to EMC vice president for information security Dennis Hoffman. He says data protection should be inherent in the data and be capable of being moved with it to ensure a constant level of protection.

The EMC World Conference in Boston is the launch pad for an initiative to place EMC as a major player in intellectual property protection and privacy management. Hoffman said data is constantly traversing security boundaries and is now being transferred onto mobile devices where the security rules change.

"All the products that protect assets and perimeters are utterly ineffective against what's starting to happen in the security market," he said. "So that leads up to the very interesting conclusion that security is simply an attribute of information management."

Although companies like Microsoft and Adobe are addressing intellectual property protection, Hoffman claims that these are only effective where the products are used to create and redisplay data. This does not address the problem of unstructured data or what happens when the data is moved to a new environment.

"The fundamental truth is that you can’t secure something you don’t manage. We need to implement confidentiality and integrity at a data level because data leaves devices, data moves. We have to ensure that what companies see as their greatest asset, data, remains an asset and never becomes a liability."

Quite how EMC will create the metadata required to move the rights and permissions with the data, Hoffman did not say. However, almost all of EMC's speakers at the Boston event underlined that the $4.2bn spending spree that EMC has pursued since 2003 is not abating and that there is plenty of money left in the war chest to fund further acquisitions. ®

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