Archive for September, 2008

Upcoming Presentation: The Frogs Who Desired A King: A Virtualization Security Fable Set To Interpretive Dance

September 3rd, 2008 No comments

The sequel to the "Four Horsemen of the Virtualization Security Apocalypse," is my next presentation entitled "The Frogs Who Desired A King: A Virtualization Security Fable Set To Interpretive Dance."

It goes something like this:

Aesop wrote a little ditty about some discontented frogs who lived in a pond.  They asked Jupiter for a King.  They got one.  They didn’t like it.  They got a replacement. It ate them.  The moral of this story is "be careful what you wish for."

The corresponding analog is that of the future state of security in a virtualized world.  It’s coming, but it’s not going to look much like what security looks like today and it’s certainly not what people are expecting.  In fact,it may consume us all because we’re actually unprepared for what we’re asking for.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.  You’ll want to know what I used to make my slides… 😉

Coming soon to a disturbed audience near you (seriously.)


The Most Overused Term In Security Product Management/Marketing…

September 3rd, 2008 6 comments

Next Generation <anything>

Sick of it.  Sucks monkey balls.  Is about as relevant and non-sensical to me as "kosher ham."

I’ve been really annoyed by this term since I ashamedly added it to my lexicon of "roll-off-the-tip-of-my-tongue" buzzwords years ago for reasons I can’t rightly remember.  Too much TV.

I suppose temporally, anything not shipping, regardless of how (r)evolutionary it may or may not be, is technically "next generation," but it’s today overly (ab)used to imply some quantum leap in capability, functionality, or saleability.  Oh, and one usually has to pay more for it.

The truth is — and as I pointed out in my disruptive innovation presentations — there just aren’t that many "big bangs" that deserve to have this moniker hung upon the mantle, but rather a series of dampened oscillations due to punctuated equilibrium until everything settles down and looks pretty much the same.

Then version 1.17 ships and BAM!  Next generation, baby!

To all you product managers and marketers, "next generation" is so over-played at this point that the populous at large simply regards it like the features lists plastered on the trunk lids of automobiles advertising the niftiest new (but abundantly standard) set of features purchased on the luxo-barge meandering about in the lane ahead.

Whilst I am happy to know that Bob got the GLX, limited edition, R-Series with ABS, sunroof, intercooled turbo with XM radio and AWD, the suggestion that his "seats 8 but still makes him look like a dork" mini-van is a "next generation" platform doesn’t really say much about Bob, now does it?

On the flip side, I’m just thrilled to learn via press release today that "Secure Computing [is] to acquire Securify to drive [its] next generation firewalls" which oddly enough includes a list of features that are aimed squarely at competing with folks like Palo Alto Networks’* "next generation" firewalls which were released sometime ago. 

Further, someone at PAN and Secure Computing will undoubtedly be shocked to learn that Crossbeam, Fortinet, and Cisco all have "next generation firewalls" too.  Crap!  What comes after "next generation?" 

I suppose whatever it is would have to be made of pure unobtanium…

I knew I should have trademarked that…


* Speaking of Palo Alto Networks, you may have missed that a couple of weeks ago, PAN secured a C-Round of $27M.  That ought to be good for a couple more ‘next generations’ of something…they also finally got a new CEO back in July (Lane Bess from Trend Micro.)

Categories: Jackassery Tags:

Google’s Chrome: We Got {Secure?} Browsing Bling, Yo.

September 1st, 2008 No comments

From the Department of "Oops, I did it again…"

Back in June/July of 2007, I went on a little rant across several blog posts about how Google was directly entering the "security" business and would eventually begin to offer more than just "secure" search functions, but instead the functional equivalent of "clean pipes" or what has now become popularized as safe "cloud computing."

I called it S^2aaS (Secure Software as a Service) 😉  OK, so I’m not in marketing.

Besides the numerous initiatives by Google focused on adding more "security" to their primary business (search) the acquisition of GreenBorder really piqued my interest.   Then came the Postini buyout.

To be honest, I just thought this was common sense and fit what I understood was the longer term business model of Google.  To me it was writing on the wall.  To others, it was just me rambling.

So in my post from last year titled "Tell Me Again How Google Isn’t Entering the Security Market?  GooglePOPs will Bring Clean Pipes…" I suggested the following:

In fact, I reckon that in the long term we’ll see the evolution
of the Google Toolbar morph into a much more intelligent and rich
client-side security application proxy service whereby Google actually
utilizes client-side security of the Toolbar paired with the
GreenBorder browsing environment and tunnel/proxy all outgoing requests
to GooglePOPs.

Google will, in fact, become a monster ASP.  Note that I said
ASP and not ISP.  ISP is a commoditized function.  Serving applications
and content as close to the user as possible is fantastic.  So pair all
the client side goodness with security functions AND add GoogleApps and
you’ve got what amounts to a thin client version of the Internet.

Now we see what Google’s been up to with their announcement of Chrome (great writeup here,) which is their foray into the Browser market with an open source model with heaps of claimed security and privacy functions built in.  But it’s the bigger picture that’s really telling.

Hullo!  This isn’t about the browser market!  It’s about the transition of how we’re going to experience accessing our information; from where, what and how.  Chrome is simply an illustration of a means to an end.

Take what I said above and pair it with what they say below…I don’t think we’re that far off, folks…

From Google’s Blog explaining Chrome:

…we began
seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started
from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that
the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive
applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What
we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for
web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build.

Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a
browser that runs today’s complex web applications much better. By
keeping each tab in an isolated "sandbox", we were able to prevent one
tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue
sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also
built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next
generation of web applications that aren’t even possible in today’s

Here come the GooglePipes being fed by the GooglePOPs, being… 😉


Categories: Clean Pipes, De-Perimeterization, Google Tags: