People and processes protect your data, not technology

Special corporate statement

With near ubiquitous use of the Internet to conduct business and communicate, organizations tend to place too much faith in technology to protect their vital data. Technologies alone such as firewalls and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are seen as panaceas for security problems. But such a narrow focus misses the real requirements for information security. This is about balancing the risks of openness with the rewards of tighter relationships with suppliers, partners and customers. However, as both opportunities and vulnerabilities are constantly changing, security becomes a never-ending process. Only skilled people and clearly defined processes can help safeguard information in a meaningful way, with technology as a complement.

The Internet has become an attractive target for hackers or others with malicious intent, as the web has grown more business critical. All organizations need to protect themselves against the financial, reputation, and productivity losses, as well as downtime caused by information security breaches. In the past, large organizations had a massive advantage vis-a-vis their attackers when it came to technical resources and skills, but now these are often more evenly matched for both computing and brain power. The question is not if, but when you will get a security breach.

Indeed, a survey from the CERT‚ Coordination Center (operated by Carnegie Mellon University), for 2001 shows:

    • 90% of respondents (primarily large corporations and government agencies) detected computer security breaches

    • 70% reported incidents such as theft of proprietary information, financial fraud, system penetration, denial of service attacks and sabotage of data or networks.

    • 74% acknowledged financial losses due to computer breaches.

    Organizations are placing greater emphasis on protecting their vital data by employing many of the available security technologies and physical measures (i.e. firewalls, VPN’s, PKI, badge readers, biometrics, cameras). However, the real challenge for many organizations is trying to make all of these complex technologies and components work together in the context of a comprehensive security policy.

    To ensure reliable operations and communications, organizations are increasingly relying on managed services providers to assess and enhance information security in a cost efficient manner. According to a survey from Infonetics Research, European end-user spending on Managed security services is expected rise six-fold to $3.1 billion in 2004 from $0.5 billion in 2002.

    Genuity, a leading provider Managed Internet services, helps multinational organizations run secure, dependable Internet communications from virtually anywhere in the world by applying decades of experience in managing, maintaining and protecting their electronic assets 24x7x365, against known and unknown threats. Genuity has a unique history in providing secure solutions for governments and public sectors through its development of the ARPAnet, the precursor to the Internet, for the US Department of Defence in the 1960s.

    Current and future information security challenges demand comprehensive and proactive security strategies. Without them critical business and communications can be compromised instantly. This means going beyond VPNs, firewalls, and access control solutions. Organizations should adopt the same comprehensive approach to information security challenges as they did when dealing Y2K; scan all parts of their systems and processes for potential vulnerabilities. To be sure, a qualified staff, well-defined processes and clear strategies are crucial to successful information security. With this in place the Internet becomes a true enabler of improved business and communications.

    Beyond technology, it takes people!

    Corporate Headquarters
    Genuity, Inc.
    225 Presidential Way
    P.O. Box 4100
    Woburn, MA 01888-4100 - USA
    Tel: +1 781-865-2000

    European Headquarters:
    1 Transcentral
    Bennet Road
    Reading, Berkshire RG2 0QX
    United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 118 916 9900

    Visit us on the web:

    OECD Observer No 231/232, May 2002 (Inside cover) 

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