I just spent nine months as an independent analyst covering the IT security space. You will have noticed that in addition to posting about the threats and rise of cyber crime I began to cover the security industry as well. When I originally started to write Threatchaos I was at Webroot Software, and the site, you may recall, was at www.threatchaos.com Because I was in the industry I was not really in a position to critique other vendors. I transitioned the blog to ZDNET the day I launched IT-Harvest, my attempt at creating an independent research firm.
Now, I am making another shift. Because it is back to the vendor side you will see me posting less about the industry and more about the threats again. I seem to be one of the few people who believe the threats are under-hyped, not over-hyped. I need to continue to highlight the next Sumitomo bank heist and the next Haephrati Trojan. This blog is the place for that.
Why move on? It’s a long story. As many know I covered the network security space for Gartner for four years. My stint covered the rise and acquisition of Netscreen, the death of IDS, the EOL (end of life) of Gauntlet, and the invention of IPS. None of which I can take credit for of course. One of the frustrations of being an analyst is that you are an observer, hopefully a thinker, but certainly not a doer.
At one point about three years ago, a dinner meeting was convened in Sausalito: two industry execs, a social networking guru, and an analyst. The purpose: figure out the next big thing in network security. We came up with nothing definitive at that meeting, but, as these things often work out, within two weeks I had that big aha moment when I realized that the network had to be secured. Just as ISP’s and carriers are doing more to manage and block malicious traffic on their backbones, the enterprise should be doing more to ensure that bad packets have no place on their networks. This evolved in to my concept of Secure Network Fabric which I have written about at length.
Well, I have visions of Demosthenes shouting into the wind whenever I attempt to be heard. The rush to quarantine and health checks that is NAC is a stampede that overwhelms a lone voice. And, in the meantime there is a quiet evolution in network security that is indeed moving towards this concept of ‘secure networking”. And, in particular, the stealthiest company in the space, Fortinet, has even introduced an edge device for the enterprise. Look around. We know that switch vendors have made some acquisitions to get into security (3com+Tipping Point, Force10+MetaNetworks) but have you noticed that firewall vendors are introducing switches???
It’s time to be part of this evolution. Maybe at Fortinet I can help make it a revolution.