Security main IT focus in 2000

IT security is expected to become a bigger focus for companies following the completion of year 2000 projects, according to an Ernst & Young consultant.

Additionally, relaxed encryption controls from the US will lead to increased e-commerce activity as well as increased uptake of security products locally.

Bruce Young, eSecurity solutions partner at Ernst & Young believes 2000 will be the year of IT security.

According to a recent report by Ernst & Young into security issues for 1998-99, 75 per cent of senior managers from Australian organisations rate IT security as "important" or "extremely important". Despite the concern, the survey discovered 30 per cent of companies have no formal security policies in place.

Young does not expect GST compliance to eat into security budgets or resources because of the growing importance and adoption of e-commerce.

Meanwhile, Dean Stockwell, sales support director for Network Associates Asia Pacific, said the uptake of security products next year would be fuelled by new laws from the US allowing stronger encryption algorithms to be exported to foreign countries.

According to Stockwell, the new laws are effective from December this year and will allow Network Associates and competitors to sell their most recent versions to local customers.

The encryption laws have held back advances of e-commerce and IT security, Stockwell said.

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