EMC Charts Course For Adaptive Security

Consider the numbers trumpeted by RSA executives this week at the company's annual partner event: RSA's North America bookings are up 18 percent year-on-year, with channel bookings increasing 20 percent over the same period.

New license growth has jumped 62 percent year to date, with about 90 percent of that business going through the channel, executives said.

However, to ensure this growth continues, EMC's new security division will have to increase its focus on information lifecycle management (ILM), which involves securing data wherever it travels on the network, says Art Coviello, former RSA CEO, and president of the RSA business unit of EMC's security division.

EMC took the first step last month by acquiring Network Intelligence, a Westwood, Mass.-based vendor of auditing and security incident management technology that companies can use as a forensic tool to determine the impact of breaches.

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Network Intelligence solutions collect data from all applications and devices in the network, analyzing data in real time to let companies set triggers and events, said Dennis Hoffman, vice president of information security at EMC.

"EMC already had great authentication technology, and great authorization technology, but we didn't have a lot of auditing," said Hoffman. "The obvious linkage is that Network Intelligence will be systematically integrated across RSA's entire line of products."

The additional of auditing technology will allow EMC to develop adaptive security technologies, which identify anomalies in captured data and make decisions based on that information, Coviello said.

"There's no reason to believe that pattern recognition couldn't be used to look at the audit log data collected by Network Intelligence and enable us to act on that data in the future and stop any pattern of abuse," Coviello said.

The trend towards consolidation is requiring companies to integrate disparate business units and partners into their networks, and adaptive security gives them a way to mitigate the risks, said Gary Fish, president and CEO of Fishnet Security, Kansas City, Mo. "As you integrate companies and business partners, that can create internal risk, and you need to have a dynamic security environment to deal with that," Fish said.

However, Network Intelligence products require considerable tweaking during deployment, and channel partners will have an opportunity to step up and help companies deal with the complexity, Fish added.

"Network Intelligence does have everything, but it's not an out of the box product," said Fish. "We've actually seen people get frustrated with it because it's a pretty intense implementation cycle. It's a project you really have to manage."