Digit tries to examine the reason for this trend...
Jagdish Mahapatra, Regional Manager, Channels, Cisco India and SAARC
Cisco's security approach stems from its self-defending network strategy. Essentially, we integrate security in every aspect of the network to create an end-to-end integrated system. This helps the network identify threats, react accordingly as per risk levels, isolate infected endpoints, and reconfigure the network resources in response to an attack or anomalous behaviour. This enables networks to deal with threats on their own, with minimal human intervention.
All enterprises look at lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for any product or solution. Security is no exception. Comprehensive security solutions are cost-effective and easy, as opposed to separate security devices that are resource-hungry, and difficult to manage.
Comprehensive security solutions integrate various functionalities like IDS, VPN, anti-virus and authentication into a single device, with provision for scalability and compatibility.
Ajit Pillai, Country Manager, WatchGuard Technologies Inc
Our integrated security solutions comprise Firebox X Edge, a line of firewall and VPN endpoint security appliances. They deliver network protection to small businesses, remote offices and telecommuters. For instance, the Firebox SSL Core VPN Gateway is a product designed specifically for growing enterprises that allows authorised users to connect through an auto-updating, Web-deployed client, among other features.
Customers are fed up of piece-meal solutions and would like one vendor to take care of all the threats, and hence would prefer an integrated appliance. We also provide Live Security Service (LSS) to registered customers. This includes software maintenance, technical support, hardware warranty, LiveSecurity E-mail Alerts, Broadcasts, and related editorial content.
We mostly cater to the growing enterprise segment, which would have anywhere between 100 and 2,000 users. Earlier, different vendors offered different solutions. Now, customers get an integrated appliance and can hold one vendor responsible for the complete solution. We have been able to eliminate a lot of compatibility issues as well. Even globally, organisations are increasingly using integrated security solutions.
Subhasis Gupta, AVP, Dept of IT, UTI Technology Services Ltd
Basically, a mix and match of various products make up our integrated security solution. We use WatchGuard's firewall products, McAfee's anti-virus solutions, Trend IMSS is our e-mail scanning product and so on. We use the best and integrate them all at a common place that's centrally managed.
Earlier we used point-to-point solutions. We shifted to using integrated security solutions around 16 months ago. And in retrospect, it was a good decision for us. Ever since the implementation of the integrated solution, performance has improved considerably. There has been a phenomenal increase in the uptime of systems, and the loss in man-hours has declined. Other related problems have also been solved (up to 95 per cent) as compared to the point-to-point solution.
An integrated solution is better than a point-to-point solution as the latter has innumerable points of failure. Moreover, the maintenance cost of each and every node is rather high when compared to an integrated solution. The future of integrated security solutions is promising, as they offer customers a good bargain..
John Cumming, Senior VP and CIO, TWS (Tracmail, Webhelp & Spherenomics)
TWS doesn't use a fully integrated security suite. We use an integrated security platform incorporating the best of breed components from Cisco, Symantec, F-Prot, Foundry Networks as well as Open Source solutions such as Spam Assassin, Snort and Nagios. TWS's integrated security platform covers firewalls, all intra-site traffic via private line or IPSec IP VPN, inbound and outbound e-mail for both viruses and SPAM, and more.
When TWS's primary business was related to dotcoms in the 1990s, we focussed on external threats. As we entered the BPO space in early 2000, we started to look out for internal threats. This system will continue to evolve and is a central pillar of our IT infrastructure. By leveraging the best of breed commercial solutions with Open Source, we delivered significant value in terms of cost-effectiveness for IT security. We've never faced a violation on any of our core servers, routers, firewalls or telecom equipment.
In the future, integrated security solutions could be integrated considering site-specific needs, as opposed to the current one-size-fits-all approach. As interoperability increases, the costs will also decline.
Sascha Beyer, Managing Director, Pointsec Middle East & India
Pointsec mainly deals with endpoint security. We develop secure encryption solutions to protect enterprise information on computers and mobile devices against intrusion and data theft.
For organisations who want to store confidential or classified information on mobile computing devices, we have a solution for automatic data encryption that extends enterprise security to the end-points of the network.
We cater to a wide range of customers ranging from Wipro, ITC Infotech and Syntel in India to Ericsson, TeliaSonera, Telenor, Astra Zeneca and CapGemini abroad.
We think it is important for companies to concentrate on securing enterprise data, more so, considering the increasing requirements for enterprises to comply with security regulations such as the India Information Technology Act, and globally, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the EU Data Protection Directive.