Vendors must collaborate to boost IT security

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BT calls for open standards.

Fundamental shifts in business technology are making it vital for vendors to adopt a more collaborative approach to IT security, it has been claimed.

BT said that the development of more collaborative technologies will be the only way to effectively protect businesses from 21st century cyber-threats.

Four key trends are having a "significant impact" on the security landscape: convergence, flexible working, the regulatory environment, and collaboration.

BT argued that security products must be built on open standards for interoperability to mirror the changing business landscape.

Ray Stanton, global head of BT's business continuity, security and governance practice, maintained that collaboration is creating seismic shifts at work.

"Collaboration is nothing new, but technology is redefining the level of collaboration that is possible," he said.

"Modern networks allow industry rivals to share data to ward off fraud, businesses from different sectors are teaming up to co-develop products, and extended supply chains are automating more shared processes to create efficiencies.

"This way of working, combined with the other trends, throws up serious implications for security. But it also offers valuable lessons for security vendors."

Business executives believe that collaboration is important, according to research commissioned by BT carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Some 64 per cent already have up to 10 collaborative relationships; while more than half said that collaboration will either form an important part of their firm's competitive advantage or will actually be central to their survival over the next three years.

However, the task of bringing all of these networks, devices and businesses together is made significantly harder by the lack of open standards-based security solutions, according to BT.

"Many vendors continue to launch proprietary tools, despite the customer appetite for interoperable products in today's digital networked economy," said Stanton.

"Collaboration is re-sculpting the way business functions, and vendors would do well to jump on the 'collaborative' bandwagon, not only because they have a duty to offer the best protection possible to their customers, but because it may also be critical to their own long-term survival."

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Vendors must collaborate to boost IT security
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