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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Security review of the year 2007

31 December, 2007
The security industry continues to grow strongly with improvements in technology and continued high demand for effective resistance against the increasingly sophisticated threats in both the physical world and IT.
An end of year poll in the US revealed that confidence in the President to strike the right balance between homeland security and citizen's privacy is flagging which is bad news for a Government wishing to formalise existing controversial legislation which further threatens privacy whilst strengthening homeland security.

In Britain, airport chaos eased with improved processes for handling throngs of confused fliers and ended the year with the promise to lift the hand baggage restriction at some airports.

In surveillance, sales of digital cameras continue to lag behind analogue cameras largely due to the existing installed inventory which companies are loathe to throw out and start again. However, the future now looks brighter for megapixel camera suppliers with improved networking capabilities including bolting onto legacy systems, the increased demand for intelligent surveillance and the new home office guidelines for future installations to meet certain standards such as evidential quality images.

The use of body worn and vehicle mounted cameras is also increasing with military and police trials now being expanded into the private sector particularly concentrating on the American market.

In IT security, the spammers and cyber-criminals are getting trickier to fend off but some high profile arrests around the world have instilled some confidence that law enforcement agencies are taking these crimes more seriously.

In Britain, however, confidence took a serious blow with a number of high profile cases of data loss involving millions of citizens when disks went missing belonging to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority. Gaining ministerial attention at the highest level, these cases may be the pre-cursor to sweeping reforms in the civil service to improve public data security with encryption and strong authentication â€" technologies that are well established and widely available.

Spammers, meanwhile, are adapting old tricks and creating new ones with the re-emergence of botnets and the use of image and PDF spam to lure people into reading their messages. Exploits that don't rely on operating systems are also on the increase with many targeting such applications as quick-time and Real Player.
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