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When It Comes To Security, Hardware Rules

When it comes to security, it's all about hardware, not software. That's the findings, at least, of a survey by security vendor Britestream Networks, which discovered that over half (54%) of respondents preferred a hardware-based security solution over a software-based one. The hardware could be a pre-bundled, standalone hardware appliance or an embedded feature in network hardware equipment. But the point is, hardware is what IT folks are looking for.

Unfortunately, there's good reason for that. Software by itself these days just won't cut it. There are too many threats, they morph too fast, and they arrive too quickly. It's more than software alone can handle. Hardware-based security offloads security functions, and frees up existing computing resources for other work, and so helps the network in other ways as well.

Ultimately, though, what's needed is building hardware-based security into PCs and routers, rather than relying solely on standalone hardware security devices. IBM has taken a step toward this, by embedding security hardware called SafeKeeper from National Semiconductor into some PC models. The prices is not substantial -- $5 per PC.

Let's hope that this is just a first step, and that one day, security hardware will be embedded into every piece of hardware sold. That'll go a long way toward solving the growing security crisis facing networks and enterprises.