Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: Integralis

By Craig Shaw (Profile)
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Tuesday, January 22nd 2013
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Consolidation (doing more with less) has continued to be a hot topic during 2012 with an increasing number of organisations adopting additional functionality offered by traditional security vendors. For example, traditional IPS solutions are being replaced by IPS services offered by Firewall vendors, and interestingly, customers who wish to retain a CPE based Web proxy solution are also looking at functionality now provided on their perimeter firewall. Integralis has seen adoption by some customers deploying elements of data leakage prevention at the gateway rather than investing in dedicated DLP solutions.

Conversely in high traffic volume environments we are seeing increasing interest in customers deploying application delivery controllers at the perimeter to carry out basic firewall functionality. This potentially limits organisations with reduced capabilities but which is accepted as a trade off when looking at cost savings in an environment where capital expenditure is harder to secure.

Identity/user awareness at the gateway has now become more commonplace rather than the traditional method of defining firewall policies based on IP addresses. This is increasingly addressed with greater adoption of “Next Generation” firewall functionality offering improved detection and control of individual applets and applications even within a web site.

We have seen an increase of data leakage control projects delivered in 2012 compared to 2011, quite often with compliance being the primary business driver. However, many organisations are still approaching this with technology first, and quite often without defining data classification and storage policies. IT departments are typically custodians of data with the data being owned by individual departments. More often than not, IT departments or Security are asked to deploy DLP solutions without necessarily understanding the context of the data they are securing. Without going through a data classification process first it is hard to know, for example, how financial statements maintained by the finance department should be transmitted around the network or to external parties securely. It is very difficult to obtain an effective data leakage policy and to maximise return on investment without such activities taking place either prior to or during the deployment of technology.

SaaS solutions continued to gain traction during 2012 with an increase in organisations looking at hybrid web security and authentication solutions. We are seeing more of a requirement for hybrid web proxy solutions that are location aware, for example if an employee is office-based then web traffic is routed through a corporate proxy. When this employee works remotely, the organisation has a requirement for the same level of securing and filtering without routing back through the corporate network. This is now being achieved through a hybrid solution using hardware and software deployed in customers’ infrastructure and SaaS solutions enabling remote working to be managed through a single unified management interface ensuring consistency of policy.