To Beach Security Boundaries

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WatchGuard, originally a security hardware vendor, sets its focus on the virtualised space with best-of-breed platform.

Security can no longer be just a box anymore with the IT environment now being an extremely fast changing environment. It has to be mix-match of solutions that is able to address the new challenges that cloud computing and virtualisation have brought out," says Joe Wang, CEO of WatchGuard.

Description: WatchGuard, originally a security hardware vendor, sets its focus on the virtualised space with best-of-breed platform.

WatchGuard, originally a security hardware vendor, sets its focus on the virtualised space with best-of-breed platform.

That and his believe in working together with a winner's list of the security industry will ensure that such a best-of-breed concept can be conceived. This is how WatchGuard complements its network security solutions, which now consist of integrated network security services.

According to Wang, this journey started when WatchGuard - originally a firewall vendor moved into the unified threat management space and started working with other data protection service providers to create a hardware and software based best-of- breed solutions system. The goal is to develop a mixed security platform that can address the multi-faceted characteristics of current security threats that businesses now face.

"What we had in mind is to work with partners in the same industry who are the best in what they do - essentially winners - to produce the best protection suite imaginable. No one is the best in everything, hence why we prefer working closely with other vendors to provide this ‘best-of-breed' security solution to our customers," Wang notes.

Partners that WatchGuard is currently working with include Websense, AVG, Kaspersky, BroadWeb, Freescale, Commtouch, Intel, and Cavium, all of which provide a certain field expertise that can be leverage on to produce a security platform that is ubiquitous, robust, and omniscient.

This concept of creating a multi-vendor security platform seems timely as current innovations in the IT industry has completely changed the way businesses process and manage their data and operation policies. Wang shares that WatchGuard, like other security providers, took notice of the changing trend and felt it appropriate to invest in virtualised security appliances as well as consider unified threat management systems so as to remain market relevant.

As WatchGuard has noted of the upcoming trends that cloud will bring about, its developers know that there will be a major impending change to how things are done. "Mega trends that the cloud has spurred, such as mobility, big data, cloud services, bring-your-own-device, and the like are changing the IT ecosystem and business environment rapidly. This is the primary reason we have worked to grow our portfolio beyond providing hardware solutions. Indeed, in the last two years we have placed major emphasis on virtualised security and enhanced information protection services that operate in virtual environments," Wang shares.

Description: Cloud security boundaries

Cloud security boundaries

The new apps and solutions that WatchGuard is currently offering are the results of its extensive research work and market observation. Wang believes that businesses will need such services as the IT industry will force many, if not all, to deploy new preventive, anti-intrusive, and counter-measure software platforms to deal with the new challenges that are looming over the proverbial horizon.

As with everything else that innovation and modernisation will affect, changes that are occurring now cannot be stopped and, as Wang mentions, "should have been expected."

"It is unfortunate that many are still struggling to understand the concept of cloud services. It doesn't help that most are now only grasping the idea of cloud computing and the potential opportunities as well as challenges it brings about. This also means changing work policies in regards to information protection and access management. In what WatchGuard has to offer, we believe in working in tandem with current security systems that are in place. In essence, our solutions sit on the layers and stacks within the virtualised environment. And thus, there is no need for organisations to strip out legacy systems to make way for the new data protection services," he adds.

Businesses that are still trying to make sense of all these changes are those from the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment. Even if they did understand the need for data security, the problem also lies with the limited resources and space they operate and manage their operations within. Wang believes SMEs will need the physical environments to operate private cloud systems. Space limitations are always a primary issue for these organisations.

Wang throws in something to consider as his concluding point: "SMEs, and even large enterprises - even those who are ready - have to embrace the current and upcoming trends that are expected to revolutionise the IT industry. That is the only way they can ever be ready for the more advance threats and avoid being caught in the trap of being reactive instead of being seen as proactive."

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