Security: A brand owner's responsibility

Businesses must intrinsically build safety into their products or services, and not include it as an afterthought, say experts.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

PARIS--Businesses need to take responsibility for the security of a product or service, and that intrinsic safety has to be built in, not included as an afterthought, said experts at the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Forum.

In a panel discussion on security Wednesday, Wyatt Starnes, founder and CEO of integrity verification company SignaCert, said the current state of security is calling for the return--or emergence--of brand responsibility. This, he explained, meant companies are responsible for the delivery of secure products or services.

Starnes used the analogy of a car during the media session. Car buyers expect their car to come with airbags and seatbelts, not buy a car and pay extra to put security features in, he pointed out. "They have to realize the problem is not with end users--the problem is actually upstream."

Carlos Solari, vice president at Alcatel-Lucent, added that despite the current landscape of multiplying threats, products can be hardened and weaknesses fixed at the point of creation.

To address enterprise security, Alcatel-Lucent is tackling threats from three areas. According to David Puglia, chief marketing and technical officer of the enterprise solutions division, the company is focused on protection of Web services through its Web services gateway. Endpoint security and infrastructure security are the other elements in its approach.

Solari noted that Alcatel-Lucent is not known as a security company, but argued that "everybody with the right technology needs to be a security company".

Vivian Yeo of ZDNet Asia reported from the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Forum 2009 in Paris, France.

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