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Stay away from universal all-in-one type appliances: Mark Riley, ContentKeeper

Yogesh Gupta | June 28, 2016
Network designers and CIOs should look at each network security component individually and make a choice based on the capabilities of that component, says Mark Riley, CTO, ContentKeeper.

The fast-changing security landscape is a constant nightmare for CIOs and IT managers of companies. CISOs too are worried about increased breaches.

ContentKeeper Technologies provides Web security solutions which secure today's Web 2.0 and mobile-centric business environments. Computerworld India spoke to CTO Mark Riley of Contentkeeper Technologies on the road ahead for modern CISOs and CSOs to stay secure and ahead of the competition.

Edited excerpts:

High bandwidth and high capacity security networking design is at the heart of the company's Secure Gateway product family. How will Contentkeeper up its ante in the modern landscape?

ContentKeeper is continuously developing new technologies to keep pace with the next increment of bandwidth increases. To address the issue of network throughput, ContentKeeper has developed a fully integrated traffic distribution appliance that allows us to easily scale to 80Gbps and beyond. Our third-generation SSL Inspection system is also designed with these high bandwidth requirements as core functionality.

Networks are complex, unified, multi-vector, and insecure. What typical mistakes do IT managers get into while devising their company's networking and security posture?

My recommendation is to always leverage best-of-breed networking and security components and to stay away from universal all-in-one type appliances. The UTM style of appliance may be appropriate for small networks, but for running an enterprise network, distinct components are the way forward. For example, ContentKeeper system is a best-of-breed Secure Internet Gateway, but it is not a firewall and is not designed to be a firewall.

Network designers and CIOs should look at each network security component individually and make a choice based on the capabilities of that component. A great SWG (Secure Web Gateway) is not going to be a great firewall or an IDS and vice versa. A highly focused solution will most probably be the best solution.

What about hardware appliances-gateways / firewalls / next gen firewalls-as part of modern Infra of a company? Do you see momentum to virtual and software-based? 

Virtualization of network components and specifically network security components is a vital topic. There are many negatives and positives that could be put forward for either approach. Ultimately, whether to virtualize or not comes down to the processing power available for a given security function, the network's security posture, connectivity requirements and high availability demands.

What about consolidation in UTM space with Sophos buying Astaro and Cyberoam or Dell acquiring SonicWALL? Is it a good trend?

The smaller scale end of the network security market is indeed traversing a period of significant consolidation. With consolidation, there is always a period of disruption for the customer base-they may become familiar with a certain product over time, only to face its end-of-life at the hands of the new owners. Consolidation can also have the effect of stifling innovation, but in some cases, it can also improve the quality of a given product. In general, the current round of acquisitions is probably good for the market in general.


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