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June 22, 2007

Long live the revolution!

Cobia_vegasRich Stiennon is someone that I have blogged a lot about.  Of course Rich is perhaps best known for his "IDS is dead" prediction while at Gartner.  Over the last few years, Rich and I have gone back and forth on NAC and his secure network fabric concept. But I think history may record another Stiennon prediction as perhaps his most insightful.  But if they do, let them also record, StillSecure was there first!

Rich writes in SC Magazine today about his vision of the 4th generation of UTM. Now I am not going to say that Rich took his idea from us (I was on a UTM panel with him at RSA), but this article reads like a Cobia PR piece.  Let me give you some quotes here:

We are rapidly approaching the advent of the fourth generation security platform. This is a device that can do all of the security functions that are lumped in to UTM but are also excellent network devices at layers two and three. They act as a switch and a router. They supplant traditional network devices while providing security at all levels. Their inherent architectural flexibility makes them easy to fit into existing environments and even make some things possible that were never possible before. For instance a large enterprise with several business units could deploy these advanced networking/security devices at the core and assign virtual security domains to each business unit while performing content filtering and firewalling between each virtual domain, thus segmenting the business units and maximizing the investment in core security devices.

One geologic shift that will occur thanks to the advent of these fourth generation security platforms is that networking vendors will be playing catch up, trying to patch more and more security functions into their under-powered devices or complicating their go to market message with a plethora of boxes while the security platform vendors will quickly and easily add networking functionality to their devices.

Fourth generation network security platforms will evolve beyond stand alone security appliances to encompass routing and switching as well. This new generation of devices will impact the networking industry it scrambles to acquire the expertise in security and shift their business model from commodity switching and routing to value add networking and protection capabilities.

I swear. if Rich would have mentioned open source and Moore's Law providing the horsepower to make this happen, I would have sent him a check from the Cobia marketing budget!

But lets not be naive.  If Rich is writing this, you can bet his employer, Fortinet will be coming out with a network/security convergence box shortly.  We already have almost 2 years into Cobia development and welcome the company.  It will be interesting to see if Fortinet tries to do everything themselves or opens up the platform for 3rd parties.  In any event, another prescient prediction from Stiennon. Maybe this will go down as the beginning of the secure networking revolution.


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That's it. I've had it. Again. There's no way I'd ever make it as a Marketeer. sigh I almost wasn't going to write anything about this particular topic because my response can (and probably should) easily be perceived as and [Read More]


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