Upping The IPS Ante

John Kindervag

My colleague at Forrester, Chris Silva, recently commented upon the recent Air Defense acquisition by Motorola.  Looking at the deal through the security lens, I completely agree with Chris that this will help ease integration of wireless security into wireless infrastructure.  It's good to see one of the major wireless brands step up and take wireless security seriously.  Perhaps that other major wireless vendor will get the hint...

Upping The IPS Ante


Motorola announced this week its intentions to acquires Wireless IDS/IPS vendor AirDefense.
The acquisition may provide a bit of deja vu to readers who recall the
acquisition of Network Chemistry's wireless IDS/IPS assets by Aruba
Networks in 2007.

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A Culture of Compliance

Wireless as Fashion

John Kindervag

As a security guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the security ramifications of wireless connectivity.  Wireless has evolved from a single protocol, 802.11b, to a veritable alphabet soup loosely defined as "Mobility."  We now have 11a/b/g and maybe n, Bluetooth, RFID, CDMA, Wi-Max, and a bunch of other stuff that all provides wireless access, often without even a thought of security.  As people scramble to have the latest, coolest, most connected devices in the company, they are tossing security right out the window.

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Power Outages Are A Major Risk That Most Companies Overlook

Stephanie Balaouras

Stephanie Balaouras

TechCrunchIT reported today that a Rackspace data center went down for several hours during the evening due to a power grid failure. Because Rackspace is a managed service provider (MSP), the downtime affected several businesses hosted in the data center.

When companies think of disaster recovery and downtime, they typically think of catastrophic events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. What companies don't realize is that the most common cause of downtime is power failures. In a joint study by Forrester Research and The Disaster Recovery Journal of 250 disaster recovery decision-makers and influencers, 42% of respondents indicated that a power failure was the cause of their most significant disaster declaration or major business disruption.

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Deduplication Hits The Mainstream

Stephanie Balaouras

Stephanie Bottom line for IT Infrastructure and Operations professionals? Your next purchase of a backup-to-disk appliance or backup software will have integrated deduplication functionality, given the slew of announcements from all the major storage players. It’s no longer just pioneering vendors Data Domain and Diligent beating the deduplication drum — it’s all the major storage vendors.

 

 

In addition, based on the direction of NetApp, you need to start thinking about how the rest of your storage environment would benefit from integrated deduplication functionality like your VMware environment (server and desktop) or end-user home directories.

 

 

NetApp plans to introduce integrated deduplication technology in its NearStore VTL some time this year. In the meantime, the company is promoting the availability of deduplication on its production FAS storage systems and touting the huge benefits of deduplication in VMware environments.

 

 

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Cisco's Path In Entitlement Management

Andras Cser

Andras Cser

While waiting for the pan-out of the Cisco System's acquisition of Securent, I can't help but wonder how Cisco is going to develop the Securent technology in its future products. Will the Securent policy engine (PDP) be used 1) as a main point for policy management and enforcement for network equipment, OR 2) will they continue using the product along the 'Securent-intended' path: enforcing fine grained application level policies by integrating policy enforcement points into applications, OR  3) managing fine grained authorizations on the network layer (without the need to open up applications), similarly to BayShore Networks, Autonomic Networks, and Rohati Systems? Without a comprehensive identity and access management offering (IAM), Cisco will probably be fit best to do 1) and 3) described above. This seems most consistent with Cisco's background and culture.

Can Moody’s solve your third party assessment problem?

Khalid Kark

Khalid Kark

Moody’s recently launched their Vendor Information Risk (VIR) ratings service. The main objective of this service is to reduce the overall burden of conducting risk assessments for organizations, as well as their service providers. The whole idea being that if Moody’s can do a risk assessment on behalf of multiple subscribers, it can make the assessment process a lot more efficient.  The service provider will not have to go through multiple assessments and the subscribers will share the cost, and therefore have a much lower price point.

Many CISOs I talk to are sick of performing third party risk assessments; it takes up valuable time, is expensive, and most importantly, pulls resources away from doing actual security work within the company. On the other hand service providers are also having a hard time keeping up with these assessments. A compliance manager at a large service provider estimated that they responded to over 300 audit requests in 2007, and that number would be around 400 in 2008. Thus, a service like this could potentially save millions of dollars for service providers and subscribers.

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VMware Advances DR Preparedness

Stephanie Balaouras

Stephanie

On May 12th, 2008 VMware announced that nine storage replication vendors have tested and certified their technology with VMware’s long awaited Site Recovery Manager (SRM) offering. SRM is an important step forward in DR (DR) preparedness because it automates the process of restarting virtual machines (VM) at an alternate data center. Of course, your data and your VM configuration files must be present at the alternate site, hence the necessary integration with replication vendors. SRM not only automates the restart of VMs at an alternate data center, it can automate other aspects of DR. For example, it can shutdown other VMs before it recovers others. You can also integrate scripts for other tasks and insert checkpoints where a manual procedure is required. This is useful if you are using the redundant infrastructure at the alternate data center for other workloads such as application development and testing (a very common scenario). When you recover an application to an alternate site, especially if your redundant infrastructure supports other workloads, you have to think about how you will repurpose between secondary and production workloads.  You also have to think about the entire ecosystem, such as network and storage settings, not just simply recovering a VM.

Essentially, VMware wants you to replace manual DR runbook with the automated recovery plans in SRM. It might not completely replace your DR runbook but it can automate enough of it. So much so that DR service providers such as SunGard are productizing new service offerings based on SRM.

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Hitachi acquires M-Tech Information Technology

Andras Cser

Andras Cser

The number of pure-play vendors in user account provisioning decreased on April 7, 2008 when Hitachi announced that it acquired M-Tech Information Technology, and changed the name to Hitachi ID. Although Hitachi has been lacking an identity and access management (IAM) pedigree, this move can prove important due to the following reasons:
1) Using IAM for provisioning of physical resources and hardware resources.
2) Extending enterprise role definitions to previously uncharted verticals and cultures.
3) Evangelizing user account provisioning and IAM in Japan and other APAC regions.
4) Hitachi becoming a major player in Japanese SOX (JSOX) implementation.

Needless to say, the above will hinge on Hitachi's ability to retain and grow the existing customer base of M-Tech IT in North  America and Europe, and also on  Hitachi's ability to compete against EMC's selling of  Courion and RSA products. How Hitachi will create an access and adaptive access management (Web and desktop) portfolio to complement its identity management and provisioning portfolio also remains to be seen.