It has been a long time coming but the market has now awakened to the fact that training and skills development is imperative to efficient security strategies and service delivery in commerce.
This is the viewpoint taken by management at Ideco Biometric Security Solutions (Ideco), a provider of solutions, services and support within the field of identity management.
Marius Coetzee, COO, Ideco, believes that the security industry has evolved to the point that it is no longer possible to implement basic security solutions and expect that all bases are adequately covered.
Coetzee points to the increased sophistication of cyber threats, of methodologies to steal identities and by-pass traditional security mechanisms such as smart cards, card-based ID, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and the like.
He believes the onus is on decision makers to ensure that not only their network administrators and ICT staff are sufficiently skilled, but that employees at all levels understand the dynamics of basic physical and online security within a company.
For example Coetzee maintains that every employee must know company policy that governs aspects such as email, Internet use and social networking, as well as the use of peripheral devices to store data, to access networks and databases off site, to print documents and more.
"The advent of social networking and continued innovation within the mobile and wireless space means that the business is more accessible and more susceptible to risk. The corporate security strategy has to encompass more than physical access control and technology to combat cyber threats, the issue of fraud and identity theft also need to be taken into consideration,' says Coetzee.
Coetzee refers to reports issued by global research houses such as Gartner and PricewaterhouseCoopers which indicate a rise in identity fraud within commerce and trade. The research also substantiates the now widely accepted theory that most threats within a business originate internally.
"We have noticed a definite increase in interest and investment in biometric-based technology systems. Part of the reason is due to the advantages that are inherent within this technology, another is because of ease-of-use and practicality. Personnel can be trained and skilled up on application as part of the service delivery. This also means less cost to company, which has traditionally represented something of a challenge to decision makers,' he adds.
From an identity management point of view there is an emphasis on training and skills development in biometric systems and application, as well as a push to understand emerging trends.
"Fingerprint identification is a well established form of biometric infrastructure system technology. There is more work being done to rollout systems based on other physical traits such as that which features identification of the iris. This is where skills development and education will have a key role to play going forward,' Coetzee continues.
In terms of overall industry focus Coetzee is confident that as the profile and relevance of identity management is raised, the need for skilled and trained practitioners will grow. This represents a major opportunity for service providers and key driver behind lead generation, innovation and integration of technology, and service delivery.