2007 Security Incites
In the better late than never camp, here are my Security Incites for 2007. I've taken a little different approach this year and have tried to focus exclusively on customer problems. Since everyone has an opinion, I look forward to lots of discussion and dialog relative to why I'm wrong.
And I will also be commencing the 10 Days of Incite tomorrow as I delve into each of the Incites and give you a better understanding of how I've come to the positions.
Just like last year, I will revist the Incites in early July (coinciding with my summer vacation) and at the end of the year - if only to keep myself honest.
So without further ado, I'm pleased to present the 2007 Security Incites. Get the PDF here.
What are the Security Incites?
Annually, Security Incite publishes a list of the key “trends” in the security business for the next year. Called “Security Incites” and written from the perspective of the end user (or security consumer), Incites provide direction on what to expect, assisting the decision making process as budgets and technology adoption plans are finalized for the upcoming year. Each Incite provides a clear position and distills the impact on buying dynamics and architectural constructs. Incites also set the stage for Security Incite’s upcoming research agenda.
2007 Security Incites
- Get with the Program
As security professionals continue to struggle with the number of threats and contradictory goals (protect information, but assist business), they increasingly turn to structured security programs (ISO 27001, COBIT, Pragmatic CSO) to assist in getting things done and communicating progress. Security management tools (predominately SIEM) continue to leave customers wanting for value and assistance in automating programmatic operations.
- CSO Next
A new breed of CSO emerges in 2007, focused on running security as a business. High visibility, setting milestones, communicating progress, prioritizing fiercely, outsourcing strategically, managing vendors aggressively, and embracing advisors and coaches are the hallmarks of “CSO Next.” This Pragmatic CSO needs to look more like an MBA-type than a code jockey, which creates many challenges for the current generation of technically-oriented CSO.
- Perimeter (R)Evolution
The consolidated perimeter platform continues to subsume additional security and networking functions, making top flight content security and application acceleration the next frontier – further squeezing pure-play security players. This accelerates consolidation in the sector, keeping perimeter architectures in flux. Customers increasingly embrace integrated solutions from larger players putting a “best of breed” mindset on life support and proving that “big is the new small.” The first open source perimeter platforms also hit in 2007, providing a legitimate alternative for technically savvy, mid-sized businesses.
- Trust No One
The “insider threat” continues to garner tremendous hype, but leaves customers struggling to figure out muddled offerings and providing disappointing results for early adopters. The NAC (network access control) bubble pops rather visibly in a maelstrom of confusion, forcing users to focus on solving specific problems (like visitor and contractor access) and implementing monitoring processes which result in checks and balances at all levels of the organization.
- You (Mal)ware It Well
The most significant innovations in 2007 come from the bad guys continuing to find new ways to compromise desktops and install rootkits/Trojans and other bad stuff, resulting in the first million bot network. Big AV responds with more integrated suites, but remains under siege from new entrants looking to milk the AV cash cow. For users, the best defense turns out to be a good offense as Pragmatic CSOs spend significant time and effort training users and pushing ISPs to address the damage of rampant bot activity.
- Patching the Leaks
More high profile privacy train wrecks force many customers to just buy something to address the information leakage problem. Laptop encryption turns out to be far from a panacea, while multi-protocol leak prevention gateways remain in high demand. Users demand integration at both ends (client and perimeter), foreshadowing more consolidation. Users finally figure out data protection is more of a process issue, forcing Pragmatic CSOs to ask tough questions of senior IT managers on how data is handled and who has access to it.
- The Information Strikes Back
2007 finally brings acknowledgement that data/information security is different than protecting the network and servers. Yet, there is a major skills shortage in folks that understand how to protect applications and databases, resulting in accelerating interest in application and database security product offerings. But history will repeat itself, as a “fool with a tool” is still a fool, which doesn’t help customers solve any problems.
- Identity Everywhere
Identity becomes the most overused term in 2007, as NAC vendors, systems management vendors, Big Security, and everyone else “identity-enable” their offerings more as a marketing initiative than to add value. Pragmatic CSOs focus on solving problems, embracing non-disruptive mutual authentication and integrating directory stores with network equipment to streamline management and problem isolation. The first inklings of an interoperable “identity network” emerge, making cheap multi-use tokens more compelling to a broader market.
- Help Wanted: Fortune Teller
CSOs need to increasingly flex their psychic abilities as exponentially increasing attack surfaces mean new controls must be targeted to protect the most likely targets, which are identified by discerning the true value of corporate business systems and increasingly sophisticated (and productized) security research. Network behavior analysis allows organizations to “react faster” by understanding network traffic dynamics, but integration with remediation solutions lag, forcing customers to continue to do the heavy lifting themselves.
- Time to get PC(I)
PCI is the new SarbOx as unsophisticated CSOs continue to try to “buy” compliance. The lack of regulatory enforcement and increasing scrutiny by bean counters finally kill compliance’s golden goose and force CSOs to justify more security spending on something other than compliance. Pragmatic CSOs understand that a strong security program addresses compliance requirements, so they focus on warming relations with auditors and communicating their results in business terms to the business people that matter.