When FireMon re-positioned itself around the concept of Proactive Security Intelligence at the beginning of 2014, the effort was undertaken with the notion of highlighting the critical role that data produced by our solutions plays in managing enterprise security and IT risk.
Sure, if you want to start at the most foundational element of the processes we support, as many of our customers do, it can be stated as simply as firewall management – getting a clear understanding of what network security device infrastructure is doing, then improving the performance and efficiency of those defenses, continuously.
However, the truth is, “firewall management” is a far too narrow a manner of communicating the overall value of what the FireMon Security Manager Platform and its supporting modules offer in terms of strategic information, thus the new messaging.
With all the intelligence that we produce regarding policy workflow, compliance validation and risk management, along with enablement of related process automation, we felt it was far more appropriate, if not completely defensible, to adopt this broader PSI mantra.
Intelligence, of course, has evolved into a very broad and encompassing industry buzzword, popular among security vendors of all breeds who feel that they provide critical data to inform strategic decision making – which admittedly could be almost any company on the landscape today.
Of all the various uses of intelligence, clearly, the most widely recognized arena (perhaps beyond long-standing ties to the SIEM market) these days is that of “threat intelligence”, or the real-time aggregation and distribution of information regarding emerging attacks to help both products and practitioners respond more adeptly as threat-scape conditions evolve.
So, it’s with keen interest that we at FireMon saw the news this week that industry heavyweights Fortinet, McAfee and Palo Alto Networks, all of whom are close partners of ours, announced a new high-profile effort (along with endpoint experts Symantec) to drive threat intelligence even deeper into the domain of network protection.
Some may roll their eyeballs at the introduction of yet another pan-industry coalition, but this is a pretty influential group in our world, and as such the launch of the involved “Cyber Threat Alliance” is certainly intriguing.
The reason is simple. Of all the uses that a product maker or practitioner could find for the latest and most comprehensive information regarding emerging threats, using that intelligence to assure that network defenses are in place and assets are effectively segmented is certainly one of them – a case echoed in the accompanying research white paper launched by the new coalition.
As highlighted by McAfee EMEA and Canada President Gert-Jan Schenk in the related announcement, the unprecedented rate and severity of recent breach incidents has come at the hand of “complex and multidimensional attacks” that dictate attention far beyond installation of more effective anti-malware systems at the network gateway or on endpoint devices.
Given that we’ve long stumped for the need to use current, in-depth visibility into the real-world alignment of network defenses, in relation to underlying assets and known vulnerabilities, to address risk exposure and mitigate available attack paths, this effort on the part of our partners, industry leaders all, is definitely something FireMon would support, heartily.
As our self-appointed corner of the market – Network Security Intelligence – continues to evolve and we move to help organizations better align their defenses to account for emerging attacks it will be fascinating to see how threat intelligence continues to shape methodologies.
We’ll continue striving to be at the forefront, working with these types of thought leaders to enable more effective defense.