Is encryption enough?


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Security costs
Security doesn't come cheap. Encryption will likely be the largest single product expense, requiring multiple hardware-based encryption appliances that start at approximately $30,000 a pop.

Authentication, identity management, firewalls, intrusion-detection systems and the other components of IT defense in-depth also require an investment, although some of this is a shared infrastructure expense.

In addition, there's considerable administrator overhead for storage security. Administrators need to actively manage passwords, authenticate systems and devices, monitor communications among storage components, control access to management tools and handle keys. Effective security requires substantial education, which raises the cost.

According to TheInfoPro's latest survey, 85% of organizations spend less than 10% of their storage budget on security. However, almost all respondents reported that they expect storage security spending to increase, says the firm's Stevenson.

There's no simple panacea to the storage security problem. Authentication, ID management and encryption all have important roles to play. So do network security and application security, which are beyond the control of the storage team. Storage managers can begin by implementing the dozens of security actions outlined in SNIA's "Introduction to Storage Security" whitepaper, but storage security isn't a job the storage team can do alone. Storage security truly requires

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a corporate-wide effort and resources.

This was first published in June 2006

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