E RSA: Time To Admit Security Is Broken

Security infrastructure leaders may be about to experience a disruption similar to one already underway in the network infrastructure space. Companies like Cisco (CSCO), Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and Fortinet (FTNT) are in the awkward position of defending increasingly complex, interconnected networks from increasingly sophisticated attacks. Can they evolve fast enough?

As RSA approaches it is time for the industry to acknowledge the state of security and the need for innovation.

Trust is under attack. So much so that security experts are already calling most enterprise networks “zero trust.” Last fall’s Kaspersky Labs survey found that 77% of US businesses, when asked if they had breaches, reported “between one and five separate incidents of data loss, leakage or exposure” in the previous 12 months.

This at a time when established, multi-billion dollar incumbents enjoy wide deployment in US enterprise networks. It is apparent that hackers are evolving tactics and strategies faster than established security players can keep up, and exposure is increasing.

Can architectures created more than ten years ago adequately scale and adapt to survive an unprecedented onslaught of attacks and demands? Time will tell.

Today no one seems immune, including government officials. In recent years, high profile cyber-attacks have become so commonplace, they’re almost old news. They even played into the election cycle with releases of confidential emails.

Today digitalization is connecting more endpoints to servers than ever.  In short, the attack surface is proliferating faster than most security vendors expected ten years ago when the notion of the enterprise web and branch office demands were new phenomenon.

Combine advanced threats with the rise of cloud and digitalization and you get a kind of perfect storm for a network security industry already grappling with an increasingly software-defined world as they re-architect to address new demands. See, for example, reports of Cisco pressures experienced in the software-defined networking space.

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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned.

Additional disclosure: My employer, Vidder is a security software startup.

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Gregory Ness 5 months ago Author's comment
Gregory Ness 7 months ago Author's comment

seekingalpha.com/.../4053796-palo-alto-networks-lofty-expectations-baked-valuation More on PANW challenges... the security status quo is getting disrupted by innovation (advanced threats, digitalization, cloud, IoT) which is making the status quo hardware obsolete at a faster than expected pace. More coming soon...

Gregory Ness 7 months ago Author's comment