The use of computers has revolutionized the way organizations conduct their businesses. Computerisation has brought so many benefits that most organizations are heavily reliant on computers for their information and communication needs and this reliance increases day by day. However, extensive dependence on computers also necessitates that business critical data resides on computer devices which needs to be protected from loss and leakage.
One of the most important aims of computer security is to give the management of an organization the ability to give access to specific bits of information to specific people and to deny them from everyone else. However the technical setup of information systems in the past has meant that the management has had to rely on a skilled group of computer technicians to setup a strictly hierarchical system of information access with access to computers, networks, drives, folders etc. given to specific individuals, often with uniform access to specific resources being given to individual users of the same rank in the hierarchy (Contos, Crowell, Derodeff, Dunkel, & Cole, 2007).
‘Information security’ has thus not been focused on securing the information itself but rather it has been focused on securing the hardware and software infrastructure on which the information resides. The aim of ‘information centric security’ is to shift the focus of the security policy towards securing the information assets themselves rather than securing everything but the assets (Contos, Crowell, Derodeff, Dunkel, & Cole, 2007).
Convention or ‘Infrastructure based’ or ‘perimeter based’ security policy results in a number of problems. For example, we can see that the information is secure enough when it resides on the secured corporate network only, but the realities of modern day business mean that workers may need access to the information from a variety of secured and unsecured locations, on their home personal computers or on their personal laptops or hand held communication devices such as blackberries etc. Once a piece of information is carried to these unsecured locations it becomes utterly insecure and all the money, time and effort spent on corporate firewalls, antivirus programs etc. goes completely to waste. (Karl & Willig, 2007)
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