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Wake up to information security

Managing information security is getting nightmarish by the day. Initially it was just a couple of measly viruses or perhaps a disgruntled employee who threatened your valuable enterprise data. But later, with immense popularity of the Internet as a business medium, and companies opening their internal network to customers and partners, the security rules have changed forever. You now have slimy viruses that can creep into your internal network and deliver lethal payloads. Then there are hackers and crackers who are ever ready to breach your enterprise security from the word go.

Enterprises worldwide have adopted stringent measures and implemented multiple solutions at different layers to secure their networks. This has been clearly highlighted in a recent Gartner study that pegs the growth of the security software market at around 25 percent, up from 1999's growth of 22 percent. All this despite the downturn in the US economy.

Unfortunately in India the scenario is a bit different. This month's cover story talks about the 'status of security in Indian enterprises'. Our senior correspondent Brian Pereira reveals some startling facts. Apart from the banking and finance sectors, most enterprises have been slow at adopting and implementing security solutions. Most SMEs seem to view an antivirus solution as the answer to security problems. And the issue is further complicated by low IT budgets. In most cases spending on security comprises less than one percent of the total IT budget. Turn to page 18 to get a lowdown on the information security scene in India.

In another section, we study Mumbai Municipal's (BMC's) e-governance initiative. The E-governance initiative is to automate (IT-enable) certain services in the government. Sadly, it had been gathering dust till now. Here's a case study on how BMC, the municipal corporation of one of India's most populated city, is automating and connecting its ward offices to provide its citizens better service.

Reliable connectivity and security are key concern areas for most CIOs and CTOs. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) is the likely answer to both these problems. We give you an overview of this technology and the future it holds through a primer and an interview with Srinivas Mulugu, Consulting Engineer, Juniper Networks.

Meanwhile, as we get cracking on the next issue of Network Magazine, do write in and tell us about your likes/dislikes on this one.

Sandeep Ajgaonkar,
Assistant Editor
sandeepa@vsnl.com

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