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Security pros: 'Uh oh'

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The credit crunch is likely to produce changes in IT spending priorities that may create additional security risks.

Tim Mather, RSA Conference chief strategist, said technologies such as open source, virtualisation, inter-organisation VoIP and cloud computing will gain traction as organisations look to rein in spending. How to properly secure virtual environments, for example, remains ill-defined, but firms are pushing ahead anyway and remain more occupied by other concerns.

Ben Jun, VP of technology at Cryptography Research, said organisations rolling out virtualisation as a way to consolidate systems and reduce costs are more concerned about whether servers with Intel chips can coexist with systems running AMD in the same environment.

Along with the introduction of new technologies and tightening purse strings, IT departments are likely to face the demands of tighter regulation in the wake of the global banking crisis.

Mather argued that the financial meltdown of banks might be partly blamed on a failure of compliance systems and of information security professionals to maintain systems that preserve data integrity. IT security has aligned itself with risk management over recent years, which means IT pros ought to take a good look and ask themselves if there are any lessons to be learned.

"Information security has tied itself so closely to risk management so it would be remiss if we didn't look at what went wrong and whether we are part of the problem," Mather said, adding that this process would occur on a company by company basis rather than taking the form of a wider post-mortem.

Mather and Jun made their comments at a global advisory press briefing at the RSA Conference in London on Monday. ®

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