Carol Wilson over at Light Reading has put together a comprehensive article on the current state of network security in this era of IP based telecommunications. She cites various sources that warn of a (sensationally named) “Digital Pear Harbor” looming on the horizon. If we don’t address our lack of security now, we shouldn’t be surprised when an attack causes massive financial damage and outages of a large portion of our Public Infrastructure.
Governmental Policy, Industry coercion, even private sector coordination alone cannot prevent such an attack from happening. In most cases these types of actions lead to “analysis-paralysis”. Lots of money spent, time wasted and in the end we’re no better off.
In the end technological evolution always spearheads an answer to these issues. In this case Vertical Integration should prove it’s worth. The idea behind it is to implement software features by developing programmable hardware which has enough headroom to accept new features for 3-5 years (you implementation may vary). Vertical Integration has proven time and time again it’s ability to blend deterministic behavior, complex processing and financial viability into one package.
A fair number of companies have shown technology leadership due to their implementations of Vertical Integration and built billion dollar businesses on the idea. Here are a few examples:
In the arena of security there have been literally dozens of start-ups who have attempted Vertical Integration to solve security issues and a fair number of them have built successful products. The only difference between security companies and infrastructure companies (like the ones listed above) is the constant threat of hackers who are usually a half-step ahead of the security vendors.
However, I believe this gap is closing. There are a few new companies in the security arena who are pushing technology evolution with Vertical Integration. One company of note is Palo Alto Networks who have developed a way to inspect and control applications from within the network at wire speed by using a mix of programmable and off-the-shelf hardware.
Do you have any experience with this or any comments? Please sound off below!