Managing complexity & achieving security
April 6, 2006, 10:57pm PDT | Length: 00:03:49
Securing networks from the outside are a prime concern in the business world. However, Rob Meinhardt of KACE explains how complexities inside the network also can pose a major problem for organizations.
Hi, my name is Rob Meinhardt. I m CEO and Co-Founder of acompany called KACE and I m here to talk to you about a very important topic,which is managing complexity and achieving security.
When you think about complexity on your network, think aboutcomplexity on the inside. For the last twenty years, companies have had youfocused on the outside dealing with firewall management and managing accesscontrol to your network. But there s a devil lurking within here, which is thecomplexity on your network itself.
All these machines talking to one another, all thosemachines accessing the internet, all of those machines potentially a point offailure, getting bugs, getting worms, having the inappropriate applications orsettings installed. So we re really talking about managing complexity insidethe network. And when you talk to people like Gartner, they ll tell you thattwo to three times the network outages will occur for companies who don tcarefully manage their end points and their end nodes, and that s a veryimportant concept for you to understand.
In the mid market especially, companies are dealing withwhat we call Sneaker Hell. And Sneaker Hell is running around sneaker net,machine to machine, trying to play catch as catch can and make these machineswork and be secure and manage them the way that you want them to be managed.And really what you re dealing with is a situation where there s TNT sittingthere and that situation can explode at any point in time.
This leads to incredible security problems. It leads tofrustrated users, which is a key point and it also leads to another importantconcept, which is—especially for your IT managers outthere—exhausted IT staff, people playing catch up all the time and notgetting to the interesting projects that really make a difference for yourbusiness.
What you really need to think about as an IT manager todayis how do I achieve automation nirvana. And automation nirvana includes anumber of different steps that need to be taken on your network. The firstthing you have to do no matter what is understand what you have, how manymachines, how are they configured, what applications are there and where arethe potential pitfalls that you need to address. Once you have thatinformation, you re armed to take action on your network, deploying new applications,deploying patches, updating applications. You now have the ability to controlyour environment by deploying scripts and setting policies and enforcing thoseon all the machines on your network.
You have a requirement set on you by management to secureyour network, track for vulnerabilities, assess those problems, remediate themand in some cases quarantine machines. You also have a requirement to report onthis entire piece of infrastructure and all the activities that you re doing sopeople know that you re doing your job and you re getting things done.
The problem with automating this entire process is that youhave to do every single one of these tasks. You ve got to do it across everysingle node. And more importantly—and this is what gets you on thesneaker net perspective is you got to do it forever. The problem never goesaway and that defines a situation where automation is critical.
So when you re thinking about getting this job done on yournetwork you re probably faced with three or four different choices. First, youhave the opportunity to throw more people at the problem. Well, that s anexpensive proposition and you know they re always going to be playing catch up.You also have an opportunity to purchase software. There are a lot of differentproviders out there and you got to integrate them together to get the reportinginfrastructure that you re going to want. You have appliance players out there,who have all in one type of solutions that can get you up and running very quicklyand get you in control of your network. And then finally, you have theopportunity to outsource. That s a situation where you re putting control ofyour network in the hands of someone else and making it their problem.
So the choice is really yours. You got to take a look at allfour of these options to figure out which one works best for you.