Jericho urged to become more than talking shop

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A leading member of the Jericho forum has threatened to leave if the lobby group doesn’t become more than just a ‘talking shop’.

"I get the board asking why I'm doing this," said the company's information security representative. "If nothing happens in the next six months then who knows? It's a bit of a talking shop."

The Jericho forum pushes for 'secure boundaryless information flow', a movement of security down to the data level rather than at the perimeter. It's comprised of more than 50 members and is now a global movement, but some have criticised its lack of actual achievement, dismissing its work as admirable but unlikely to directly affect any major changes.

"Of course some people call it a talking shop, but it's really about what they want to get out of it," said Paul Simmonds, global information security director at ICI and public face of the Jericho forum. "We changed things, we've had to tell the industry the emperor has no clothes."

"A year ago at a keynote speech at the Black Hat conference in Amsterdam I talked about removing the security perimeter and there were gasps. It was blasphemous," he continued. "This year at the same conference every keynote was saying what I had been saying the year before. I was stunned. The industry has really grasped it."

Other information security experts have applauded Jericho's efforts, but notice a general sea-change in industry attitude.

"I think part of the industry was leaning this way already," said Nick Lowe, managing director in the UK, Ireland and South Africa of security company Check Point. "But Jericho are doing the right thing. Defining the problem and getting people talking about it can only help the industry. I think they're doing a fantastic job."

In July SC reported Jericho took its idea to the U.S. for the first time. Next month the first open meeting on U.S. soil will be hosted in Cincinnati, Ohio.

www.opengroup.org/jericho
www.checkpoint.com

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