Security road toll needs military block

IT security is a bit like watching the road toll -- everyone accepts there are vulnerabilities but companies should be protecting their assets with military stealth, according to Tenix Datagate executive general manager Peter Croft.

Offering military solutions for information protection, Croft said information is a highly valuable asset, which is why Australia's largest companies are now using military techniques and technology for data protection.

Traditionally a provider of security network devices to defence and intelligence agencies, Tenix Datagate has launched separate network security (SNS) products dubbed Veto that are now available for commercial use.

The technology lets users access both a secure isolated network as well as the general open network such as the Internet from a single workstation. The company said 5000 units are already being rolled out to the Department of Defence in Australia and will be released to Defence in Canada, UK and New Zealand.

Based on a network separation architecture which organisations can use to isolate networks that contain their most valuable data, Veto boasts its own servers, hubs, switches and cabling, thereby eliminating information theft from popular attacks such as worms and trojans.

While such high-grade security is the norm in military installations, Croft said banks and larger organisations are adopting these practices to enforce security in hardware as Veto products have no software element like firewalls.

He said Veto cannot be misconfigured by 'playing around with settings' and has the highest international certification (ITSEC E6). The product is being accredited by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US, he said.

The Veto range came out of a research initiative with the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), the defence equivalent of the science agency, CSIRO.

Tenix Datagate is aiming to broaden its base into the commercial sector with the Veto range and estimates global sales totalling $25 million globally over the next 12 months. Research firm Gartner predicts network security products will be worth $150 million in Australia over the next 12 months.

Spruiking the catch phrase, "for cash you have a bank vault, for information you have Veto", Croft predicts insurance will drive the IT security market in Australia in the next few years with a dollar value placed on information assets just like any other asset held by an organisation.

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