Data transfer security still an Achilles heel: Seeburger
By Edwin Yapp August 22, 2012
- Data transfer security is still a challenge for enterprises globally; Malaysia is no different
- Seeburger sets up regional office in KL to tap data transfer security market; confident of success due to govt driving regulation
MALAYSIAN enterprises and government agencies need to ensure that they comply with data transfer security protocols more seriously as more organizations increasingly depend on electronic means of communication to do business, noted business integration specialist Seeburger.
James Hatcher, its Asia Pacific regional director, said that any company or government agency that does business today has a data security obligation to its customers and stakeholders.
“They’ve got to prevent a ‘Wikileaks’ [episode],” he told a media briefing recently. “It’s a disaster for a corporate company or government agency to have confidential data go out.”
Hatcher (pic) was referring to the release of massive amounts of classified information via online publication site Wikileaks because an individual was able to copy the data onto removable media.
Seeburger specializes in managed file transfer (MFT) technology. Its charter is to help companies derive a single unified solution to manage the challenge of securely moving mass enterprise application data efficiently across the enterprise and wide area networks, as well as between partners, suppliers and service providers’ networks.
The data leakage, to which MFT seeks to address, includes unauthorized e-mail and file transfer protocol (FTP) communication, as well as unsanctioned data transfer into USB flash and/or hard disk media.
According to Hatcher, organizations are required to assure that the handling of information meets corporate policy compliance, security and regulatory requirements for large batch files and individual data transfer.
This is especially so for financial, healthcare and government sectors, which are all seeing an increased need for a solution that is able to maintain the confidentiality of critical information, he added.
Hatcher said Malaysia is an interesting market because “it’s very progressive and there are cyber security regulations that will be enforced next year.”
He was referring to the implementation of the ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management Standard (ISMS) as a cyber security baseline for organizations to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of data or information and the maintenance of their information security management system.
According to CyberSecurity Malaysia, the nation’s critical national information infrastructure (CNII) sectors in Malaysia should be all certified compliant to ISO/IEC 27001 by February next year.
At present there are 54 organizations – including CyberSecurity Malaysia – in Malaysia that have been certified, noted the country’s cyber security agency.
Asked how prepared Malaysian companies were in the area of data transfer security, Hatcher said the market awareness is quite high but many companies are figuring out how to address this challenge.
“CIOs treat this issue very seriously as there are requirements for security. [Such issues] are also top on their agenda as they see it as a risk factor to both their companies and their positions, as security breaches can cause them their jobs.
“[But] many are facing the issue of ‘how do I fix this?’ in the simplest way possible,” he pointed out. “And they have to do it in such a way that allows people to still do their jobs, without having to go through many levels of security [which affect job performance].
“It used to be in the past that when a company sends electronic files, customers or suppliers aren’t able to act on it until they receive paper confirmations via fax,” he explained, adding that today, the whole level of IT adoption has gone up and anyone can send an e-mail to transact.
Setting up shop here
On a related development, Hatcher revealed that Seeburger (pic, Seeburger China) has been granted approval to set up a regional representative office here in Malaysia for a duration of three years.
Asked why Seeburger chose Malaysia for its regional operation, Hatcher said that the country had excellent infrastructure and lower cost structure compared to other countries in the region.
“As the regional head, I’ll need to be able to travel around and the infrastructure for me to do this is excellent as Malaysia is in a strategic location,” he pointed out. “We also did a cost analysis and having compared setting up in Singapore or other countries, Malaysia is more cost effective than Singapore at this time.
“As far as domain expertise is concerned, we can do business in English but if we are going after government tenders, we’re not registered, have no local language expertise, and have neither the size nor capabilities to go after these projects directly.”
Seeburger operates wholly through local partners and is currently tied up with Time Engineering and Datamation.
Hatcher added, “Domain expertise is also about understanding how to work with companies and about trust and understanding. Our partners have that kind of relationships with the corporations and with potential customers in the country and they are our local references, while we have the global references to prove that we can deliver.”
On how Seeburger sees its business potential here, Hatcher said that Malaysia is a large potential field for the Bretten, Germany-based company for two reasons.
“One of the previous policies for Malaysia was to use open source and as so many large organizations have various different infrastructure and as newer technologies are coming out, the integration of these technologies will be a challenge.
“Also a lot of infrastructure are between seven and 11 years-old and companies will need to be able to communicate with the outside and share information, which is what we can address,” Hatcher claimed.
Asked what verticals Seeburger is eyeing, Hatcher said any company that moves data inside and outside its perimeter is a potential customer.
“We have a diverse customer base including banks, government agencies, insurance, automotive, high tech, and retail,” he explained. “That said, the most active sector we see is in banking and government.”
(Seeburger China image, courtesy of Vendors Directory)
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