The heart of the announcement, though, is the program for moving an enterprise, in stages, to “autonomous” security — that is, a security platform that’s automated to the point of working reflexively, like a heartbeat.
The underlying premise is one that every security vendor has begun chanting: Securing only the network perimeter is an obsolete strategy.
This is arguably true even for simple enterprise networks, but it becomes undeniable when an enterprise starts tossing workloads willy-nilly to a variety of public and private clouds. IT security was developed around the concept of fortifying the perimeter, but that perimeter is now in flux.
Considering every security vendor is aware of the problem, why should vArmour — a four-year-old player that’s nowhere near the scope of, say, Check Point or RSA — be the one to tell the world how to move to an autonomous security process?
It’s because vArmour takes an approach that goes beyond network connectivity and looks at application-level concerns, argues Marc Woolward, the company’s CTO.
“One of the things we feel very strongly about is having an understanding of security and the controls within the network at the application layer,” he says.
Along those lines, vArmour has announced a feature called Shared Defense, which lets the company share its security expertise throughout its customer base. One customer’s network might detect some anomalous Layer 7 activity; vArmour looks to use other customers’ experiences to guess at what kind of malicious activity is happening and what to do about it.
VArmour has defined five stages an enterprise could take to get to that autonomic network. Starting from purely defensive security (the state of most networks today), the enterprise could start small by making its security more distributed around the network.
From there, security architecture could be enhanced in stages to become more efficient (increased levels of automation) and more agile (where the infrastructure can tap security products in a “self-service” manner), priming it for the final stage of becoming autonomic.
None of the steps are particularly revelatory, but many enterprises are lost for a way to get to Stage 5 from Stage 1, vArmour VP of Products Keith Stewart tells us.