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Fundamentals: Don't Look for a Security 'Holy Grail'

The time has come for us to accept that there probably never will be some dramatic transformation or solution to all our security concerns. The real solution lies within ourselves.


Mike Fratto Stick around the IT business long enough and you'll realize that successful paradigm shifts are few and far between--in fact, the Internet explosion is the only one that

leaps to my mind. Failed changes, like the development of an all-telecommuting workforce, are much more common. In the security area, broad concepts like PKI (public key infrastructure) and ID and attribute management also have gone largely by the wayside, despite lingering glimmers of resurgence.

Indeed, most technology shifts come in increments. Such is even the case with remote-access security, as you'll see when you read Joanne VanAuken's cover story on page 14. When you get right down to it, the only real difference between a remote user on a modem and a remote user on a VPN is his or her access method. Sure, the variety of options is increasing, but the security problems--authenticating users, limiting access to resources, monitoring users and troubleshooting--remain status quo.

Same Old Song

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