Industry innovators 2007: Security infrastructure

This group is ubiquitous in that it defines the security platform on which all other tools sit. Essentially, the security infrastructure is the child of the security architecture. It is no accident that most other enterprise and data protection tools are based on and, in fact, are intended for the enforcement of policy. The drive for compliance with laws and regulatory requirements further defines the infrastructure in that it must provide the evidence of compliance.

Click here for eSoft Threatwall.
Click here for BigFix.
Click here for Archer Technologies.

The three products that we have chosen for this last — but, arguably, most important — group manage content, policy and risk/ compliance. Content management is the piece of the infrastructure that watches data entering the enterprise for malicious content.

It has a dual purpose: keeping malicious content out of the network and preventing infection of internal data by external threats. This is not just an anti-malware gateway. Rather, it is part of an overall perimeter defense strategy that includes protection against malware hidden in content entering the enterprise.

Policy management is a pervasive problem and one that requires a pervasive solution. The product family we've chosen for this category is all of that. Following the most successful and extensible product architecture models we've seen, this product group is built on a platform architecture with snap-in modules that extend capability and scalability.

The final challenge is risk and compliance management. This type of product is at the forefront of innovation, in part because it leverages the existing network and platform infrastructure and tools to provide a very long shelf life, maximum extensibility and scalability. Leveraging input from a variety of sources already in the network extends the life of the product because it is, essentially, a policy manager, whatever current technology the user has invested in. Analysis of that data, plus robust reporting and policy capabilities, are the hallmark of innovation in this product category.

The overall infrastructure group defines the security on the network. With a proper infrastructure, we can think of all of the other tools as snap-ins that make the infrastructure more powerful.

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