Utimaco issues 2009 IT security forecast

Sophos Press Release

Backsliding Economy, Increasingly Active Regulatory Environment and Shifting Market Needs Will Bring Security to the Forefront

As 2008 - a year in which a record number of data breaches occurred and over 22 million records were compromised - comes to a close, Utimaco, the Data Security Company, has unveiled the top economic, legislative and technical trends that it feels will drive the IT security market in 2009.

Utimaco predicts that despite advanced technologies, in-depth solutions and increased regulations, protecting intellectual property and critical data will remain a major issue in 2009. As the new year approaches, Utimaco's Chief Product Officer, Malte Pollmann, has identified several key security trends that will become-and remain-paramount to IT and security managers across the vertical market spectrum, including:

  1. New technologies like cloud computing, virtualization, and Software-as-a-Service will demand stronger security
    In 2008, adoption of cloud computing, virtualization and SaaS drove the sharing of corporate data in never-before-seen ways, resulting in both the immediate exchange of information and increased vulnerabilities for companies. While businesses will continue to reap the business benefits of cloud computing and SaaS in 2009, more powerful encryption policies and technologies will be necessary to safeguard data wherever it may lie.

  2. Expanded data security legislation will drive need for encryption
    Although data breach disclosure legislation has been in place in many states for some time, 2009 will usher in a new wave of legislation that will forever change the way an organization handles customer and employee information, intellectual property and other sensitive data. This year saw the passing of aggressive data protection legislation by Nevada and Massachusetts and as we head into 2009, other states are sure to follow with similar encryption mandates. And, organizations of all sizes, from all industries, will be forced to take notice. In fact, as recently as last week, The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission warned executives at registered financial services firms that they must maintain their compliance programs despite undertaking cost-cutting measures and cutbacks should not expose investors, employees and management to unacceptable risks.

  3. Identity theft will continue to adversely affect customer loyalty
    Every time customers' personal information is put at risk, loyalty is jeopardized. The loyalty of customers is directly linked to companies' ability to safeguard their information. In the year ahead, companies must assure their customers that proper, thorough security measures have been taken so that the risk of a breach is minimal.

  4. Hard disk encryption will become more accessible for small and medium enterprises
    Gone are the days of handling multiple vendors, operating various solutions and struggling to manage and budget for all IT security needs. Through better integration, product simplification and SaaS, 2009 will provide smaller enterprises easier access to hard disk encryption software. 2009 will usher in a wave of bundled solutions for the mid-market that will address hard disk encryption, anti-virus, encryption and DLP needs.

  5. IT security investments will provide return-especially in the downturn
    Mounting job losses in 2009 will place data at risk if the devices of departing employees are not properly encrypted. Economic downturns frequently lead to disgruntled employees potentially leaving with data, competitive espionage, and increased liability claims. As a result, the security spending that was once considered discretionary will not only become necessary, but also a smart, worthwhile investment.

    "As we look ahead to 2009 we're eager to continue protecting our customers against a number of threats that can negatively impact their business," said Pollman. "Utimaco will remain at the forefront, helping customers best leverage people and technology to safeguard their organizations."

    To underscore these 2009 trends, Utimaco will be conducting a Regulation Readiness Survey of global organizations and IT security managers. The survey can be accessed by visiting http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=OB0OSzxGPnfPAw11BakA2w_3d_3d

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K., and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SOPH.” More information is available at www.sophos.com/company.