IT security sector facing major upheaval in 2009

The world of information security should prepare for major changes in priorities and budgets as businesses suffer the impact of the credit crunch.

A leading UK security authority has said that he believes that the next 18 months will see major structural upheaval in the infosec community.

Nick Coleman, a leading independent IT security consultant who now works with the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), was talking in Madrid at the ISSE 08 conference when he issued the stark warning about the future health of the sector.

Coleman said that business failures resulting from the credit crunch would create an overcapacity in information security skills as more people looked for jobs. He also said that there would be real cost issues as IT investment projects are delayed.

“That’s good news for information security. Things like virtualisation, all those projects that we had day in and day out – some of those will be delayed so they will have more time to adjust to projects,” he said.

“At the same time, companies will be stripping out lots of costs that will give us even bigger challenges. [There will be] more remote working – those kinds of things.”

When asked whether businesses actually cared enough about the loss of data, Coleman said that when consumers started to suffer more cases of identity fraud and it started to hit profits, than real changes would be made.

“I spoke to a lady who suffered identity fraud recently. She wasn’t an expert in information security but she believed she had to close down her bank accounts and move to another bank,” he said.

“Governments have to care because it is an issue of trust and responsibility. With private sector organisations, if it really starts to affect the customer base - and it doesn’t take a lot - I think they will care.”