Standalone Security Solutions Dominate Infosecurity Europe

I’ve commented in previous postings that those predictions by big vendors of the death of standalone security solutions are no more than wishful thinking. My view was reinforced at Infosecurity Europe this week. A quick glance around the exhibition hall confirmed that standalone products are thriving. More stands than ever. Yet some big names (such as Computer Associates) absent. The prime sites are already booked up for next year. And they’re not cheap.

What else caught my eye at Infosecurity? Well the first thing that hit me was the strong focus on technology, both in terms of stands and visitors. Softer issues such as risk management and human factors may dominate the CISO agenda, but there’s also a growing interest in technical issues and security products. Perhaps this reflects the current trend to embed security activities and budgets in IT operations.

Security consultancies are thriving, but many of the big names were absent. Niche vendors of soft services such as Martin Smith’s The Security Company are experiencing high growth but they win business by word of mouth rather than passing trade. Having a stand at Infosecurity however conveys an image to the broader security community. It’s more about brand-building than sales leads.

Was there anything new on display at Infosecurity? Not much. Largely more of the same solutions. New products such as those from Secerno, Chronicle Solutions and Yoggie have deservedly collected recent awards for innovation. But they seem to be the exceptions. There are few new ideas. Just better versions of older products. That’s a shame because we could all use some fresh, imaginative and inspirational solutions. Perhaps DTI’s Technology Programme (which for the first time is addressing human vulnerabilities in network security) will help develop some new approaches to current business problems.

The Jericho Forum Conference was well attended by the Great and the Good, but there was little new on offer, largely a consolidation of the knowledge and learning points developed over the past few years. One interesting development was the emergence of quantum-immune cryptography in the problem space.

And the best stand? Well that was definitely the Portcullis Arms, which always attracts the cream of the Information Security Community through personal invitation. So my special thanks go to Mark Lane and his excellent Portcullis team for a first class show of hospitality, company and conversation.