• United States
Contributing Writer

What a difference three years can make

Apr 28, 20044 mins

* Security in 2001 vs. security in 2004

Next week, Lab Alliance member Joel Snyder and I head out on Network World’s Technology Tour “Enterprise Security: Failsafe Architecture.” The thrust of the program is helping IT managers figure out how to avoid the pitfalls of overarchitecting their nets.

Looking back at the tour we ran in 2001, it’s amazing to see the complete 180-degree turn we’ve done in the security industry.

Back then, we introduced or reinforced the importance of myriad tools – firewalls, policy-based management, signature-based anti-malware defense tools and digital authentication.

We talked about the merits of security throughout the network – at every level, of every flavor.  At this time, the focus was on gathering up as much padding around the network as possible so as to thwart any kind of attack or vulnerability.

Now, three years later, IT managers are facing a different challenge. They’ve bought all the tools. They’ve spent years layering security throughout the enterprise. And now, they’re experiencing a glut that is causing management headaches, overhead dilemmas, and worst of all, possible leaks in security. To register for this event, visit

So in this year’s Security event, we’re taking a step back. We’re recommending that you tackle your security overarchitecture issue the same way you would clean out a closet. The first thing to do is lay everything out in front of you so that you know what you have. Then, you start matching things together that make sense and get rid of the things that don’t. Trying to re-engineer without seeing the big picture will only lead to more problems.

And don’t just focus on security within the core of the network – look at what you’ve got going on for the smaller networks in your organization – whether they be branch offices, remote offices or mobile workers. You need to take everything into consideration – as it all needs to work together.

Chances are when you do this type of inventory – noting where your firewalls are, what type of authentication you are using at each level, what anti-virus programs you have in place, etc. – you’ll be able to weed out tools that are getting in your way. You’ll also see where there’s room to introduce newer security measures or upgrade what you have in place.

In his morning and afternoon keynotes, Joel does a great job of laying out what security tools are mission-critical, which are nice-to-haves and which can fall by the wayside.

We’ll also have some of the top security companies on hand to discuss their innovative approaches to security, including ForeScout, Lancope, NetSolve, VeriSign and Virtela.


Register now for these upcoming events:

WANs Technology Tour

Keynote: Jim Metzler, vice president of Ashton, Metzler and Associates

A year from now, will you look back and say you made the right WAN decisions? Or will you say, “If I had only known then what I know now?” About emerging VPN alternatives. Secrets of VoIP deployment. Balancing security and availability. Implementing service management technology. The true spend of optimization. The next-generation Internet. Attend the “WANs: Survival of the Fittest…Fastest…Smartest” event to get your answers today.

Enterprise Security Technology Tour

Keynote: Joel Snyder, NW Lab Alliance member and senior partner at Opus One

Unfortunately, network security has become a costly catch-22. Just when the stakes to your enterprise are highest, you’re flooded in waves of security technology that are hard to evaluate fully, integrate properly, or deploy effectively. The typically “safe” response is to over-spend and over-build simply because you’re overwhelmed not just with what to buy, but how to buy, when to buy, and why to buy. Find out what you need to know at the “Enterprise Security: Failsafe Architecture” event.