It is not worms and viruses, but lack of information security and data theft, which is going to be the real threat for companies across the globe in the years to come, warns Brad Boston, chief information officer (CIO) and senior vice-president, Cisco Systems Inc. The proliferation of handheld devices and the inadequate software protection around the enterprise applications will lead to a nightmare, leaving databases and information redundant and even cost companies' life for ever, Mr Boston told the members of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) here. Addressing a session on Innovation in Business Communication', sponsored by Satyam Computer Services exlusively for the TiE members, Mr Boston said that the existing security systems are insufficient to protect the databases and information and companies need to innovate more suitable technology to ensure that they are safe. Enabling employees with PDAs, Blackberrys and other handheld devices for real-time information and processing will invite stealing of data and vital information when they misplace or lost it, he said. Despite firewalls and other modes of security protection, the chances of stealing the company's e-mails, customers' e-mails and vendors e-mails on the handheld devices is more possible, he added. "The real threat is not from the viruses and worms, but from a lack of an adequate security system around the enterprise applications, databases and information," he pointed out. "There is plenty of opportunity for companies to develop technologies around the security aspect and Cisco is working on that," he added. Explaining the risks in allowing third-party vendors to manage the administrative databases, Mr Boston said that the database administration management should be in-house so that the risk of security lapse will be minimised. It is difficult to maintain different applications of different staff of a company and there should be a single, common and customised application which is more cost-effective and easily manageable, he said. Keeping in mind the vulnerability of enterprise applications, Mr Boston asked the industry heads to work on technologies to protect the databases and information from theft while providing support services.