Industry Innovators: Hall of Fame
Industry Innovators: Hall of Fame

The tools in this section have an extremely important role in the overall security of our data. While they do not protect the data directly, they provide the platform on which good information assurance is built. These tools define and manage the security infrastructure by managing risk and implementing policy. That makes them the centerpiece for compliance, a critical aspect of today's enterprise.

Like most tools of this type, these risk and policy management tools can be quite large and complicated. However, that does not mean that they have to feel large and complicated. One of the major innovations that we saw this year was ease of use. These tools may exemplify that. One of the pleasant things that comes out of ease of use is the need to think about how the tool is going to be used and what its environment is likely to be.

While that may seem like a bit of a disconnect, it really isn't. Traditionally, these large enterprise-class tools have gravitated toward large organizations. However, today more and more small companies need the functionality that these tools provide. That means that organizations with limited IT and security resources still need to have access to sophisticated infrastructure management. Add the challenges of cloud-based computing and the whole thing comes together on a lot of levels.

Having capabilities that are comprehensive, scalable and accessible by users with limited information security background is what these tools are all about. What they have in common is that they are designed with a lot of capability out of the box. They also have a lot of thought behind the seeming dichotomy of power and ease of use. In one case, the Innovator took a large and complicated, but extremely capable system and repackaged it to make it accessible to users at organizations of just about any size. That exemplified creativity and innovation.

Add a solid suite of ready-to-use policies and you've got just the right mix for risk and policy management at about any level of organization. Top it all off with excellent customization capabilities and you've described this year's security infrastructure products.