The past few days have been a whirlwind here at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit. The conversations I’ve had covered a lot of ground, as I’ve met with business leaders working on a number of strategic initiatives, as well as firewall practitioners who want the details on firewall operations such as how the cryptography behind SSL inspection works.
In between the time I spent at the Solution Showcase and meeting with customers, I’ve had the chance to see a number of fascinating sessions. The keynote for Day 2 was led by Admiral Mike Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He spoke of a career in the military, his perspectives on leadership, and the five things that keep him up at night. One of the topics of concern is cybersecurity, because from a contingency planning perspective, there is no clear boundary on just how extensive the damage could be from a major event. Admiral Mullen also held an open Q&A session, freely speaking on a range of topics offered up by the audience.
One concept that Gartner is talking a lot about is the Nexus of Forces, namely what happens when the big IT trends surrounding mobility, social media, cloud and big data converge. Yes, it’s indisputable that these trends are already in play. However, in the past, Gartner noted that mobile devices weren’t targeted by cyberwarfare/terrorism opponents. These types of attackers did not have that much interest in trying to exploit large numbers of individuals like criminals do, and typically went after endpoints instead. That’s changing, as the Nexus of Force will make the mobile device an attractive target to all types of hacking motivations, and as a result, there will be a growing emphasis on what individuals, businesses, and governments can do to prevent exploitation of mobile devices.
Chris King from Palo Alto Networks moderated a panel at the session “Living with Next-Generation Firewalls: How Enterprises Operate Re-invented Network Security”. The panel guests included Paul Carugati from Motorola Solutions, Ravila White from Providence Health and Services, and Trevor Pressley from the City of Raleigh. The panel talked about a number of aspects about their firewall projects, but I was particularly interested in a discussion about the operational changes they were able to make to their businesses. For instance, the panel talked about how they used to see applications in security terms, which is under the jurisdiction of their respective network security teams. With their next-generation firewall deployment, they are now able to hold much deeper discussions about compliance (with the legal team) and productivity (with the HR team) in order to get a much better picture on the requirements for the applications the business needs.
That wraps up my coverage of the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit at the Gaylor National Resort, and hopefully we’ll see you at the event next year.