Mobility, cloud computing and an increasing mobile device threat landscape are creating a significant need for endpoint security that is tight and right.
And as more devices move outside of the enterprise walls, endpoint security is poised to eclipse network security as a sales driver for solution providers, creating new opportunities in locking down the endpoint device, according to some industry executives.
"The value in security is all shifting to the endpoint," said James Lyne, Sophos chief technologist, later adding, "I absolutely see the death bell being rung (for network security) … and that's a real opportunity for the channel."
Dave Asprey, vice president of cloud security for Trend Micro, said the network has become unpredictable and trying to protect an enterprise using network-based security has become an uphill battle. With encryption, authentication, anti-malware and a host of other security options moving to the endpoint, it's creating an era where network security becomes second to endpoint security.
"We're feeling really good about endpoint," said Asprey. "The network security market has traditionally been bigger than the endpoint security market. We're predicting these are going to flip."
And while many VARs stop short of saying network security is gasping its last breath, some say that market flip is creating more opportunities around endpoint security and fewer around traditional network security solutions like firewalls, gateways and other boxes.
"The focus is going away from the network perimeter and to the endpoint because it has to," said Shane Vinup, president and CEO of Maple Grove, Minn.-based solution provider Cyber Advisors, adding that laptops, smartphones and a host of other devices are being used outside the enterprise walls and off network, where they can't be protected by traditional firewalls and other networks security solutions. "There's a lot of data and a lot of sensitive data in the wild outside of the firewall. The focus now really is: How do I protect that data? The focus for a security professional has shifted from the perimeter."
Greg Abrams, vice president and CTO of PC-PLUS Technologies, an Auburn, Mass.-based solution provider, said that enterprises still have a relatively strong grip on network security solutions, while SMBs are moving more security, like Web security, malware protection and other security services, to the endpoint, whether that is a smartphone, tablet, laptop or other device.
Abrams said requests and sales in medium-sized businesses for network security solutions like intrusion prevention systems (IPS), intrusion detection systems (IDS) and have declined recently as clients focus more heavily on "protecting stuff when it gets off of the network."
"Devices are out there all over the place and they are endpoints that aren't secured properly," Abrams said. "Everything's mobile. People are going everywhere with their devices and they have to be secure. There's got to be a focus on endpoint security and off of network security.
Next: Is It Time To Rip Out The Firewall?