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UK must consolidate IT security, says Stuart Okin

Stuart Okin , the former...

Stuart Okin, the former Microsoft UK chief security advisor and Accenture security head, has become the new managing...

director of Comsec Consulting Global, a provider of information security and operational risk services.

Okin, who has worked in IT security for 20 years, believes the UK still has a long way to go to make IT secure. In an interview with Computer Weekly he said, "The biggest challenge for UK businesses is that IT security is very fragmented."

Security in UK businesses tends to be handled by several departments, Okin said. "There is not really a sense of a top down security strategy. Instead, components of security are handled by people responsible for networks, datacentres, application development, anti-fraud and compliance."

This makes it difficult for IT security chiefs to put in place company-wide policies such as identity and access management. "It costs too much and someone ends up asking who pays for it," he said.

However, with budgets under pressure in 2009, Okin urged IT security heads to centralise and consolidate IT security. "Centralise IT security in a way that does not increase the risk to the business."

Okin was previously an Accenture partner, where he was responsible for the security team in the UK. While at Accenture, Okin worked closely with a number of large enterprises, specifically in the area of identity and access management and application and infrastructure security.

During his time at Microsoft, he was the public face of the company's Trustworthy Computing strategy. He was on the front line during the SQL Slammer security breach, where unpatched MS SQL server databases were targeted by hackers.

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