Summary: RSA Pre-Conference Analyst Call

A summary of yesterday morning’s analyst call in advance of the RSA Conference next week in San Francisco. Andreas Antonopoulos from Nemertes started the discussion. Antonopoulos is a senior vice president and founding partner with Nemertes Research. Andreas talked about the challenges facing the virtualization model. Another paradigm shift away from physical fire walls, virtualization’s promise to cut the cost of iron, but alas has raised the level of vulnerability to threats. He suggests, “don’t shoot the messenger” since the model is a sound one, that has such great promise and savings, as long as we can get in front of the losses from theft and phishing. He feels with “challenges on the rise” and with “budgets on the decline” the government needs to avoid the crippling effects of bad legislation. State and federal laws are already spawning needless cost for businesses struggling to grow and hire workers. There needs to be some smart people focused on this issue but stay tuned for news on who will provide the leadership at RSA. The next topic was encryption, with expert IDC analyst Charles Kolodgy, who described the old security metaphor of the house with the moat around it to today’s environment with many more doorways from which information may be leaked. Mobile and storage devices and data-at-rest vs data-in- motion demand answers to where encryption should reside, and how shall it be recovered. As anyone who pays for yearly archiving of data can tell you, it’s not something you’re too keen on allocating resources. Charles also noted that Web 2.0 was a great benefit to our industry and the future of communications but with it comes increased vulnerability. Not clear on how encryption will be used and where it will reside within the cloud. Credibility is a chief concern. He said there’s a growing need for third party groups to monitor the market. Analyst Chenxi Wang, Forrester Resarch, reinforces the notion about the « consumerization of the enterprise » referring to consumer technology is driving the market, and not the military. Sixty-three percent of all companies told Forrester they will expand consumer technology in 2009. How does this affect enterprise security? She said that 75 percent of all attacks are at the application layer. Consumer applications really are the next big threat. As Kolodgy said, crooks used to rob banks because that is where the money was kept. These days, crooks are attacking social networks. Why? Because that is where the users are.


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