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E-business security Featured

9:34am EDT March 28, 2002

E-business is booming. U.S. Department of Commerce statistics show that e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter of 2001 increased by 13 percent over the same period in 2000.

However, privacy and security concerns are also increasing, according to a Harris poll. There are a number of concerns that fall under the security umbrella, says Jeff Schmidt, founder and chief technical officer of Columbus-based Secure Interiors.

"There are a huge set of security considerations along with a different set of solutions for each," says Schmidt.

The primary concerns are confidentiality, the integrity of transactions and system availability. Firewalls, intrusion detection software and ongoing system monitoring and management are all options for handling these issues, butt they can be expensive, says Schmidt.

"Confidentiality can be handled with encryption programs, firewalls can make sure a bad guy can't break in, but system availability issues can require ongoing monitoring," he says. "Most companies don't have the expertise or budget to do all of this. Company resources these days are already stretched pretty thin."

Outsourcing is an attractive option, especially for round-the-clock monitoring.

"There are software packages that will alert employees when the system goes down or has an issue, but that still means the employee has to go in and address the problem," says Schmidt.

One way to get the most for your security dollar is to work with a computer security consulting firm that can offer services tailored to your business's needs. Contracting with a consultant that offers monitoring and issue management can be less expensive than employing highly trained personnel to monitor your system 24 hours a day. And the consulting company has the resources to be on guard for the latest viruses, preventing them from spreading and damaging important files.

"There is no magic bullet when it comes to security," says Schmidt. "But any company conducting e-business needs to make sure these issues are addressed." How to reach: Secure Interiors, 876-9630, www.secureinteriors.com