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4/11/2004
10:51 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
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Editor's Note: Security Is Part Of All Our Lives

The pressure is on Microsoft and other vendors to keep security measures strong. But what about the individual consumer? Stephanie Stahl's antivirus software is up to date. Is yours?

Ten years ago, a job posting for a top software company might have read something like this: Seeking a talented, energetic, highly skilled application developer who can create innovative, powerful tools that make users more productive and companies more competitive. Speed of development and lots of bells and whistles are a must. Master's degree in computer science required.

Today, it might read something like this: Seeking a talented, energetic, person who can create innovative, secure, and powerful tools that make users more productive and companies more competitive while protecting them from hackers and other cyberthreats. Speed and bells and whistles are a plus, but security is a must. Knowledge of security tools and understanding of global business is critical. MBA preferred.

Maybe that's not exactly what the job posting would say, but you get my point. When it comes to security, Microsoft executives might sometimes feel like they have a "kick me" sign taped on their backs. As a prime target for so many hacker attacks, the company has had to make security its top priority. While in Washington, D.C., last week, CEO Steve Ballmer urged everyone in the IT business to get on board.

"All of us in the IT business are now, whether we anticipated it or not, permanently in the security business as well," Ballmer said. "Every individual, every business, every organization, every government agency that uses a computer also has a responsibility to ensure that they're protected."

OK, so the pressure is on Microsoft and other vendors to keep pace. But what about the individual consumer? Ballmer said that less than 30% of all computers have up-to-date antivirus software. I just checked mine. It's up to date. Is yours?

Stephanie Stahl
Editor-in-chief
sstahl@cmp.com

Visit Security Pipeline at informationweek.securitypipeline.com


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

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