Security leaders promote industry-wide management

May 2003 News

Four leading security solutions providers recently announced the formation of the Open Security Exchange, a collaborative group that is defining best practices and promoting vendor-neutral specifications for integrating the management of security devices and policies across the enterprise.

By promoting more effective exchange of enterprise-wide security data, the Open Security Exchange will enable organisations to significantly reduce both their exposure to a diverse range of threats and their total operation costs.

Initially, the Open Security Exchange will focus on the integration of physical and IT security technologies. Lack of assimilation between these two primary aspects of enterprise security is perhaps the most glaring example of how security management remains fragmented at most organisations today.

Founding members of the Open Security Exchange are leaders in IT and physical security: Computer Associates (CA), a provider of IT security management solutions; Gemplus, a provider of solutions empowered by smartcards; HID Corporation, the largest manufacturer of contactless access control readers and cards for the security industry; and TYCO Software House, which designs, markets and supports integrated physical security management systems.

The Open Security Exchange's initial specifications for physical and IT security management convergence provide technical integration on three levels:

* Common administration of users, privileges and credentials.

* Common strong authentication for access to physical facilities and cyber systems through the use of dual-purpose credentials.

* Common point of security management and event auditability.

This convergence will eliminate many of the risks created by separate physical and cyber security management. For example, without physical/IT security integration, security teams cannot readily determine if someone is trying to use a computer system while its owner is not physically present in the building. This leaves organisations vulnerable to insider abuse including password stealing.

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