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Storage CTOs Debate Security

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- Executives from leading storage vendors identify data security as a major issue for storage networks, but most conclude there are no quick or easy fixes.

Members on a CTO panel here today agreed they need to address security issues with technologies that provide protection in the form of encryption, authentication, authorization, and identity management. But the work is complicated and standards aren't there yet.

Tom Edsall, SVP of Cisco's data center unit, gave users an ominous warning. "The problem with security is, as a customer, it will make your life more complicated," he said. "We're not doing this to simplify things."

Others agreed that solving the problem of securing data is far more difficult than identifying it. (See Insider: Encryption Means Planning) "A lot of people say, 'Oh my God, we need security,' but they don't know what the answer is," Brocade CTO Dan Crain said. "Even encryption can take different forms. There's not going to be one answer to security. There are many chunks of stuff that will come into play."

Hitachi Data Systems CTO Hu Yoshida says people in storage are trying to catch up to their networking cousins. "Security starts with authentication -- who's talking to each other," he said. "There's also integrity of data, and this could be through encryption. There's a lot of work we need to do in the storage world to be secure, and we're taking our lead from the networking world."

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