February 25, 2004 4:50 PM PST
Security chief asks if success will spoil the Net
CEO Stratton Sclavos said at the RSA conference here that the Internet is reaching the heights predicted before the dot-com bust. For example, Sclavos noted, e-commerce transactions rose from $35 billion in 2001 to $55 billion in 2003.
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"Unfortunately, the bad guys have noticed too," Sclavos said. "They always follow the money."
One of the problems, Sclavos said, is that technology companies haven't made security simple enough, forcing customers to choose between security and simplicity.
"End users will always choose ease of use over security," he said. "We better just comply."
Sclavos cautioned that the cost of security issues involves not just damage from attacks but also the fear that is engendered.
"It is delaying and slowing the adoption of new technologies," Sclavos said.
In particular, he pointed to Web services, Wi-Fi and radio frequency identification systems as advances that have taken off more slowly because of security worries.
During his speech, Sclavos also made a pitch for his company's initiative to create a standard for user authentication, an effort announced earlier this week.