Security Spotlight Shines on SANs Page 4 -

Security Spotlight Shines on SANs Page 4

Heightened Security Awareness Breathes New Life into SAN Security

Although government organizations are obvious markets for the more sophisticated SAN security solutions, heightened consciousness on security issues is beginning to permeate commercial and particularly financial organizations as well. As recent events have shown, modern commerce is run over a thin veneer of technological infrastructure, beneath which is a potentially unstable foundation of shifting social, political, and geologic forces.

Companies are realizing they must safeguard their information assets as a precondition to business survival. Storage data must be replicated at a respectable distance from potential disruption, the availability of data reinforced, data in flight and at rest secured, and systems protected even from the friendly fire of inattentive or overworked administrators. Security audits that previously focused solely on the external IP network must now necessarily include storage and SAN components as well.

Whether a company feels that their SAN infrastructure is vulnerable to overt or unintended security violations is a subjective judgment call. Objectively, any system based on a peer-to-peer network has security exposure. On the other hand, budget and support considerations may push security to the background, at least until some major incident disrupts storage access. As with disaster recovery, many customers stop procrastinating only after a disaster has occurred. For customers who realize they must address SAN security, however, well-established procedures from traditional networking plus new SAN-specific security products are enabling them to build better security for their storage data.

Tom Clark
Director of Technical Marketing, Nishan Systems
Author: Designing Storage Area Networks Second Edition (2003) (available at, IP SANs (2002) (also available at

» See All Articles by Columnist Tom Clark

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