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

Policy management: LanDesk (Avocent)

All of us old-timers remember LanDesk from its days as part of Intel. It always was a solid suite of products. Now that it is part of Avocent, its promise as a hybrid of network and security policy management is being realized. The notion of managing the desktop and evolving that into security policy management makes a lot of sense.

First, you need to know what a good state looks like. Then you need to compare that to the existing state. Finally, you need to bring the system to the good state if it is not already. How do you establish the known good state? That's where the policy comes in.

Building a system that refers everything back to the policy is the right way to ensure that security parameters are being met.

However, in order for this to work well, it is necessary to integrate the network and security management suites very tightly. Seamless integration allows both sides of the equation to contribute to the other. LanDesk recognized this emerging trend a couple of years back and saw that security is only as good as the weakest process in the security policy.

The answer? Build policy enforcement into all products. Use a policy-based enforcement back-end with automated approvals and audit trails. That plays into compliance requirements.

“So,” I asked the LanDesk visionary, “what makes the LanDesk policy manager different from others on the market?”

First, the company's policy manager spans the entire environment – from desktop to data center and from systems management to security management. This pervasive approach covers all the bases and provides an approach that is, at the same time, practical, effective and appropriate for compliance reporting.

There still are challenges, of course, for LanDesk to address. IT in most organizations is stressed to do more with less and requires tools with a specific focus and a quick, demonstrable ROI. Organizations want to be able to buy as they go – start with the pieces they need now and grow the system to meet emerging challenges. They need to operate within a pre-defined architecture and they need to focus on policy, not technology. Technology is little more than the servant of policy.

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