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Standalone security products 'will disappear'

Bill Goodwin

Standalone IT security suppliers will disappear within three years, as security becomes part of mainstream IT infrastructure, the head of RSA predicted today.

Speaking at the RSA conference, Art Coviello, RSA president and executive vice-president of EMC, said standalone security solutions would soon disappear.

“There will be no more standalone security business in three years. The truth is, the value of security as a standalone solution is diminishing,” he said.

Traditional security defences were “crumbling under a number of attacks,” he said, with anti-virus and intrusion detection software unable to keep up with the torrent of new threats.

“It is time for us to go on the offensive. We need to build dynamic security into [the] information infrastructure. It is no longer enough to take an outside-in approach by building a fortress around our data,” he said.

This means designing security into applications and operating systems that will recognise and block attackers, and routinely using encryption to protect key business data.

“Antivirus may soon be a waste of money. That’s not because I think viruses will go away, but they will attack with embedded technologies,” he said.

Coviello argued that businesses were increasingly taking a wider view by focusing on managing risks to their organisations, rather than striving for better security alone.

That requires a change of mindset by suppliers and businesses, he said.

“RSA used to be focused on perfecting security. But the world has changed and we have been listening and learning. Instead of working to perfect security we should be working to reduce business risk,” he said.

EMC and RSA merger will pave way to 'greater integration'

Read David Lacey’s security blog

Read Stuart King’s risk management blog

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