More on Why Data Integration is a Security Issue

Loraine Lawson

When it comes to stopping terrorists, data integration matters, an Informatica senior vice president told UK executives this week.


"How data is integrated and profiled is key to ensuring that the dots are joined up and there are several different technologies that offer a way of doing this," Poulter is quoted as saying in this SC Magazine article. "In the war against terror, data integration addresses the need to combine data from multiple sources and provide a unified and accurate view of these. This ensures that increasing volumes of information managed across departments, agencies and countries would be made accessible."


Now, if you read the article, you'll no doubt notice that Poulter is the head of sales for Informatica in Europe, Middle East and Africa. And nothing sells quite as well as fear, you may be thinking.


But let's set motives aside and look at what he's saying. Doesn't it makes sense that data integration is a necessary, even foundational, step to a complete security picture? And this certainly isn't the first time we've heard this argument. After Christmas Day attack here in the United States, an anonymous senior intelligence official told Federal News Radio national security correspondent J.J. Green that inadequate data integration between departments was a core reason why Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab wasn't flagged at the gate as a potential terrorist.


Of course, as one IT Business Edge reader pointed out, the real problem may not be about technology, but about a "willingness to share information."


Fighting terrorism isn't the only security-related reason to focus on better data integration. Data integration can also help to reduce false positives and to thwart other forms of crime, including fraud detection and money laundering, Poulter added.


Poulter made his statements at the SC Magazine Executive Network, held this week in London. London Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair also spoke, calling the audience's attention to the 2012 Olympics, to be held in London. Imagine the disaster if there were an attack on London's power grid during the Olympics, he said.

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