InfoSec 2017: Integration Talk Heats Up

Plenty of feet and plenty of heat were initial impressions on the second day of InfoSec 2017.  The main queue snaked around three sides of Olympia and met the West Entrance queue as the temperature of the day began to rise.  Once inside a bazaar like atmosphere took hold.   Vendors peddling fear, uncertainty and doubt around GDPR added to the cacophony and greenhouse effect in a bid to attract attention.  Competing claims for attention came from t-shirt printers, caricaturists and rather inappropriately stab-vest adorned exhibitors, while vendors dispensing ice-cream caused aisle gridlock.

Beyond the immediate though, the more serious business of customers optimising their security at times of resource pressure, skills gaps and increasing high-profile breaches and attacks was evident.  The words ecosystem, platform and partner featured on many stands and were major talking points with many of Exclusive Networks’ vendors.

Gerard Allison, VP EMEA, Gigamon commented that “a lot of customers are listening to the benefits of an ecosystem and taking a more integrated view of security posture.  Because we give visibility of what’s in motion across a network our customers need partners that integrate to best effect.  Vendors can’t knock on doors claiming to the be latest, greatest and shiniest anymore.  It’s time to work together.”

The theme of integration was echoed by Dave Allen, VP Western Europe, at Palo Alto Networks. “There has been a consistent message from the market – ‘how do we put all this together, how do we sustain and maintain our protection?’  In terms of ecosystem, there is good and bad, but the messages around our next-generation platform of integration, automation and cost of operation resonate with many.  Often customers view defence in-depth as expense in-depth, so there is an understandable interest in value and simplification, without sacrificing protection.”

Tony Rowan, Chief Security Consultant at endpoint protection specialists SentinelOne, took the view that “ecosystem is important because some customers want flexibility and certainty.  They may see a platform as too rigid and feel boxed in, bearing in mind the huge trust factor needed to ensure value is maintained and customers won’t be commercially penalised down the line.  I see the best of both worlds, where partners work with customers to ensure they have the most appropriate solutions according to their needs.  Being part of a proven ecosystem helps simplify decisions on highly complex issues.  And it’s not all about the tech.  Resources, skills and management processes will influence what direction to take.”

LogRhythm, the threat lifecycle management vendor, also took the view that intelligence and collaboration are hallmarks of a maturing security posture.  Citing its Security Intelligence Maturity Model, Duncan Hart, enterprise sales, noted “for people and processes to operate safely and efficiently they must have a stable security ecosystem.  Having proven technology partners means that once security air gaps are known customers can take informed decisions quickly.  They get the right security working with our intelligence based tools to manage and orchestrate responses, so meeting compliance needs and heightening their security posture.”

At the end of a hectic day feet were tired, the heat subsided.  But the talk about integration and working together in a common cause carried into the evening.  The many partners, customers and vendors attending the Exclusive Networks Thirsty Club had, according to Graham Jones, MD, “as much a thirst for knowledge around complete solution sets, ecosystems or otherwise, as they did for a cold beer.”