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Security and compliance issues will dominate the new year

Puneet Mehta offers his prognostications on what you can expect in the field of networking in 2006.

Well, it's that time of the year again. Some technologists feel 2005 was the year of security initiatives in the form of new integrated security products and research activities, while others call it the year of confusion. I feel it was a year full of news: we achieved some and lost some.

2006 brings with it all that has been left unsolved and questions that were left unanswered. Here's what I see happening in 2006:

  • Compliance will remain the main focus. Security and compliance go hand in hand. Organizations have been and will continue to spend billions of dollars on regulatory compliance, like HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley. If organizations need to succeed, they will have to understand the issues and framework better, before investing.

  • Storage security will be another key player. With the growing incidence of high-profile corporate data leaks and breaches, new storage security products will make their way into the market. The demand for these products will continue to rise.

  • Online privacy still remains a bigger concern and will continue to drive more innovative efforts to overcome the problem. The corporate demand for antivirus and antispyware solutions will increase, and we will see some new players in this big market. Microsoft has already announced its plans to enter the market in 2006.

  • IT security spending will remain moderate and will probably decline as the year progresses. Cisco will continue to dominate the networking and security market.

  • Application security will be another key priority this year as the developer community recognizes the need to incorporate security at the design level, enabling them to get a better handle on software security.

  • Wireless access will continue to increase as technologies that support it gain popularity and mature. Also the growing competition in the market will continue to drive down costs.

  • As mobile security technology improves, we can expect to see wider use of mobile devices for business applications and workforce mobility.

  • Biometric technology will finally find its place this year as major access control providers integrate biometric enrollment into their provisioning softwares and smart card encoding. This will enable organizations to easily integrate this with their existing employee database, reducing the need to create separate databases.

  • VoIP goes mainstream in 2006. Be it mid-size or large enterprise, companies will leverage the benefits of this technology, by managing it onsite or by outsourcing.

  • Finally, 2006 will see identity management redefined. The continued efforts in this area will see some results in the form of a well-defined framework.
    Puneet Mehta is a CISSP Security Architect, at SDG Corporation, an e-security consulting and a e-business software services and solutions firm headquartered in Connecticut.

    View Puneet's full bio, read some of his previously answered Q&As or send him your own network security question.

  • This was last published in January 2006

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