Home > General Rants & Raves, Intrusion Prevention, Network Access Control > IDS is dead, NAC doesn’t work…long live UTM? Welcome Back to the Vendor Cesspool, Mr. Stiennon…

IDS is dead, NAC doesn’t work…long live UTM? Welcome Back to the Vendor Cesspool, Mr. Stiennon…

November 28th, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

I smell blood.  This will be a very fun next couple of months.  Why?

In case you haven’t heard, Richard Stiennon has announced that after his provoking and inciteful rant (sorry, Mike) against Check Point, Ken Xie from Fortinet wooed him back to the darkside and he’s going to join them as their newly-titled Chief Marketing Officer.  Timing is everything, eh?

The esteemed Mr. Stiennon is a really smart guy and I am honestly looking forward to seeing how and what he does @ Fortinet.  It will be thought-provoking for sure.

So much for the niceties…Richard’s railed on me previously about how big honkin’ UTM boxes aren’t the answer to security but I reckon that’s going to change — or spin — now that he works for a vendor that sells (amongst mostly SMB/SME solutions) big honkin’ UTM boxes.

We really had a good time going at each other in regards to NAC and his Secure Network Fabric (SNF) positioning and it lead to a podcast debate on Martin McKeay’s blog, also.  I am eager to see how, or if, Fortinet’s strategy changes once Richard gets his hands on the positioning and messaging.

Fortinet really doesn’t compete in the "…high-end enterprise, carrier and managed service provider" space, but their ATCA-based chassis products are certainly positioned to play there.  He’s got his work cut out for him. 

I forecast that Fortinet’s high-end ATCA-based product line will be the soapbox from atop which Richard continues to evangelize his SNF strategy — but instead of "embedding" security in the switching fabric, it will be overlaid with big honkin’ UTM boxes, despite his prior arguments to the contrary.  I further prognosticate that we’ll see PR regarding relationships with switch vendors like what Shimmy @ StillSecure did with Extreme…

Either way, it’s going to be entertaining.

Congrats on the job, Richard.  At least I don’t have to listen to your "…I’d rather debate with independent analysts" comments anymore. 😉  Looking forward to our continued interaction.


  1. November 28th, 2006 at 18:08 | #1

    Hi Chris: Well, it won't be too much fun for you, and the blood loss may be one sided (mine) because I can't really jump in to the role of online defender of the product. So, I won't debate relative merits in my blog or on yours.
    But I might be tempted to offer you some branding advice… 🙂

  2. November 28th, 2006 at 21:31 | #2

    Analysts are whores, vendors are pimps, does that make customers the John?

    Lots of buzz yesterday around the fact that both Amrit Williams of Gartner and Richard Stiennon of IT-Harvest both announced they were going over to the dark side to work for vendors. Amrit over at Big Fix (look for Amrit

  3. November 29th, 2006 at 03:30 | #3

    Every discussion with you is fun for me. I'm not sure I see myself as the "online defender" of products — I came to CBS from being a customer, so if I'm defending anything it's the vision that I bought into.
    I'm really happy for you and honestly look forward to seeing how your vision maps out.
    See you @ RSA!

  4. November 29th, 2006 at 04:39 | #4

    And in this corner!

  5. November 29th, 2006 at 08:38 | #5

    Conflicts of Interests

    Analysts, their career changes, and their integrity are all the rage this week in the security blogosphere. I guess that's what happens when it's a slow week in security, lol. Anyway, Thomas Ptacek at Matasano sparked up a firestorm about…

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