Portal Security: It's All About Trust

By David Aponovich

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If you're planning to spend a bundle of money and time building a corporate enterprise portal, don't overlook what could be the most important factor in its success: Security.

Experts at a recent Intermedia Group portal conference in Boston stressed not to underestimate its importance to users. Any plan to build a Web portal, which enable businesses to collaborate, communicate and engage in e-commerce with their customers, must be matched with a vigorous program to protect data.

"Failure to implement these privacy programs risks alienating customers," warned David Cearley, senior vice president and co-research director at Meta Group in Stamford, Conn., and a keynote speaker.

This means more than just telling customers you'll protect their data. It means taking an active role in building policies and deploying technology to keep secrets secret. It requires fostering a corporate culture that treats customer information like gold.

The bottom line is, it's easier to pledge security than to follow through. But Cearley offered some approaches to the issue to help corporations meet security expectations: