Compliance Management, Critical Infrastructure Security, Privacy, Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

Access magagement: AppGate Network Security

This Swedish company will, I predict, set the benchmark here in the United States for how access to applications should be controlled. AppGate has helped shape the direction of network infrastructure security in Europe for some years, and now this innovator is bringing its unique thoughts to the States.

The key premise around the AppGate business proposition is that while the insider threat is an important problem, there are outsiders that should be trusted. This apparent contradiction – that we can't trust insiders, but we can trust outsiders – is the basis for the AppGate product. The company goes on to say that the notion of a security perimeter is outdated. I agree.

When describing the underpinnings of the AppGate philosophy, my contact told me that it was the same idea as putting a lock on every house on the block and then giving the key to a particular lock only to those who need it. “That is what we do and that is what the AppGate appliance does,” my contact told me. When that happens, the idea of the enterprise disappears, as does the difference between wired, wireless and mobile access.

Access, then, is more clearly understood as being access to apps and other resources. Controlling access at that granularity allows the lock-and-key analogy to work in the connected world. Move security closer to the user, control access by the user to resources, and the job is done. The result is very scalable and is clusterable with full redundancy. And, AppGate should know. This innovator has a long background supporting defense organizations.

The one thing that concerned me about this company was U.S. support and sales, but they have it covered. Sales partners and VARs include Sun Microsystems and about 10 others. These partners provide first-line support. Second line is by the company directly arranged through the first line support staff. Support is available 24/7. The efficacy of this approach is exemplified in the high percentage of support contract renewals.

Is AppGate's approach the winner it seems to be at first blush? Time will tell, of course, but from my perspective, they have the right philosophy at the right time. It remains to be seen if they can continue to deliver on their vision as they evolve globallly.

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