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Policy is key to e-security

Delegates at this week's ITP e-security roadshow were reminded that many IT security breaches come from within, reinforcing the need for procedures and policies

Policies and procedures are as vital a part of e-security strategies as any technology, according to keynote speakers at this week’s ITP e-security roadshow.

The roadshow began on Saturday in Oman, moved to Qatar on Monday and continues on Wednesday and Saturday in Kuwait and Bahrain.

Graham Searle, CEO of Oman LNG, spoke for many keynote presenters when he said that, ‘e-security to us is the same as any other kind of security. Don’t forget all the things you’ve been doing for 100 years.”

Searle likened putting up firewalls and using computer passwords to locking doors and closing windows. Just as you wouldn’t think of not doing these things in the real world, so too you shouldn’t overlook their equivalents in the electronic world.

Iqbal Khamis, vice president at Central Bank of Oman, added to the call for companies to put in place basic security procedures and policies. He urged IT departments to put screen savers on every PC, change passwords periodically and have a documented policy to, “ensure everyone adheres to the same standards.”

The roadshow’s corporate sponsors were equally vocal about the need for the region’s companies to secure their IT systems.

“We are being watched,” Moustapha Sarhank, regional president of Internet Security Systems, told roadshow delegates. He was referring to recent hacks of high profile sites in the region, including many belonging to government entities.

Hewlett-Packard, ArabTrust and Computer Associates were also amongst the roadshow’s sponsors.

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