September 24, 2001, 12:00 AM

Yankee Group warns about the security risks of corporate portals

Corporate portals, which some large retailers are using for store management, HR and supply chain functions, open an entire organization to the possibility of serious compromising of data, the Boston-based Yankee Group warns.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Corporate portals, which some large retailers are using for store management, HR and supply chain functions, open an entire organization to the possibility of serious compromising of data, the Boston-based Yankee Group says in a new report, "Corporate Portals Open the Door to New Security Concerns."

Yankee warns that the easy access to corporate knowledge, experience, and processes that portals provide to trusted users also opens the door to unwanted and unauthorized users. One step that corporate IT managers can take to prevent unwanted access is to not give even trusted users access to all resources on the network.

"Portals offer a great opportunity to make non-employee partners a part of the team by providing easy connections to information and staff,’ says Matthew Kovar, director of the Yankee Group`s Security Solutions & Services research and consulting practice. “Yet security concerns mount as non-employees become users of the portal. The internal network must connect to the Internet, making it vulnerable to attack by any user throughout the world. While few Internet users are thieves or vandals, those who are can target any web site on the Internet-interrupting its service, stealing its data, or using its connection to access the organization`s internal network."

The report analyzes the dynamic nature of portals, and how they are creating additional security challenges as they seek to create working communities and share organizational knowledge geared toward the needs of individual users.

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