Information will become a company's biggest asset in the electronic age, according to a report by Novell and Kroll Associates. As more businesses recognise the value of e-commerce and the Internet, 'protecting information must be a top priority' states the study.
The report identifies electronic 'break-ins' from hackers as one of the major threats to a company's information and also warns that employees themselves may be a security risk either intentionally or unintentionally. According to report author Dennis Willetts staff education will help 'reinforce the security message'.
Any organisation intending to conduct electronic business should have a security system in place, argued Willetts. He believes companies need to identify what information is at risk and decide what level of vulnerability is acceptable.
Andrew Milroy, an IDC analyst, said while the security issue is an important one, e-commerce was still in its infancy.
"The most important thing is to get it (e-commerce infrastructure) working first," he said. "When the system is working smoothly, the security issue will become more pertinent. There is a lot of work to be done to ensure competent encryption is used," he added.
According to Andrew Sadler-Smith, managing director of Novell, security must be at the top of the business agenda. "With the growth of Internet-led business opportunities, the need to resolve the security conundrum is of increasing importance to enable organisations to make the most of such technologies," he said.