Though security has been noticeably underrepresented at Comdex this week, myCIO.com
CEO Zach Nelson promises some developments soon.
The Network Associates Inc. subsidiary, which offers outsourced managed security
services, has two developments in the works that it hopes further entrenches
managed services as the best way to achieve enterprise security.
First, the company is planning a partnership with security expert Pinkerton's
Inc. to add physical security elements to its virtual offerings. Second, myCIO.com
is planning to release next February new security appliances that combine anti-virus
and intrusion detection, Nelson said.
Nelson said that, slowly but surely, security and service vendors will get
ahead of the seemingly endless security problems that have plagued the industry
and led to blanket cynicism about security in the online world.
"While skepticism is appropriate, I think we're getting to a point where we'll
get even, or ahead," Nelson told eWEEK. "At base, security is about making the
cure move faster than the virus. We're not there yet, but we're getting there."
The deal with Pinkerton's, expected to be announced by the end of the year,
will help myCIO.com add physical security policy to its network operations centers
and to its customers' sites. For its part, Pinkerton's will try to use the deal
to make a foray into the world of virtual security.
Nelson said users should expect more such deals as companies try to think holistically
about their security, meaning that adding such things as forensics policies
or security guard policies can spell the difference between data safety and
"Security has gotten much more serious as we've moved from trying to figure
out how we secure our data to trying to figure out how we selectively expose
that data to partners and customers," Nelson said. "And companies are looking
at every way possible to make the data secure."
The as-yet-unnamed security appliances in the works at myCIO.com will serve
two purposes. First, they will be put into the VirusScreen service. VirusScreen
uses a network operations center that a company pays to put in front of its
incoming e-mail. The VirusScreen data center checks the mail for problems then
forwards it to the company.
But this takes time and bandwidth. The new appliances promise a tenfold performance
improvement for VirusScreen. They are based on Linux and mark the beginning
of the company's move away from Windows NT as a platform for its security products.
Scaled-down versions of the appliances will also debut next year for use in
enterprise networks as part of myCIO.com's services.
Nelson also touched on areas of the industry that have suffered for lack of
security, and some still aren't moving aggressively toward security.
"Wireless is a little further off for us. Customers aren't yet asking for PDA
and phone security," he said.
He also mentioned a concept that has kicked around Network Associates for some
time now, called a "Super Pod." This would be a rack with several plug-in modules,
each devoted to an area of security, such as anti-virus, intrusion detection,
firewall, virtual private network, certificate authentication and so forth.
The idea is elegant: one giant box at the front of a network with appliances
plugged into it. But Nelson said the concept is still years off because the
economics of putting enough processor power in such a unit don't yet make it