Scoop! Symantec Acquisition Makes Sense Of Software Defined Perimeter Security...

OK – so that’s probably not the perfect headline to be announced by anyone who whistles through their teeth…

Been having some interesting conversations recently around the idea of zero trust security; primarily why there was ever anything but zero trust in the first place?

An obvious answer is that it suited the limitations of an old-school security architecture. A basic firewall, by definition, lets nothing or everything through it. So, unless you provide an element of trust, it would simply have blocked EVERYTHING. Pretty secure – at the time – but not massively productive… And, honestly, I’ve never locked myself out of the network by accident when testing firewalls in the past – just a squalid rumour -)

Now, of course, that ‘perimeter’ is bypassed c/o any number of alternative ways to “leave the building”, via Azure, AWS or whatever. VPNs obvious provide secure paths between two given endpoints, but how many people do you know who say “I love my VPN connection”? That’s not to say there aren’t great solutions out there – I’ve worked with some of them – but then there are the others that we won’t air in public…

All of which makes today’s conversation with Symantec, and its acquisition of Luminate, all the more interesting. I had a rather excellent update chat with Symantec very recently, where the slimmed-down, focus-sharpened, platform-based (Integrated Cyber Defense) approach it now employs, makes huge amounts of sense. Many times in this blog I’ve talked about the confused security industry and even more confused IT decision-makers within the enterprise, scratching their heads while thinking they need to acquire and integrate 14 products from eight different vendors into their existing strategy and setup.

We all know this does not – and cannot – work. Which is why a platform-based approach is the only away forward. Like a house built with no foundations, a security strategy based around loosely tying several arbitrary products together, does not stop the big bad wolf from blowing the house down.

So, Luminate could be classed, I guess, as the latest building block in this reconstruction project (which has had full planning permission granted). The idea behind Luminate is to create a zero trust application access architecture without traditional VPN appliances. It is designed to securely connect any user from any device, anywhere in the world to corporate applications, whether OnPrem, or in the cloud, while cloaking all other corporate resources. And there are no agents – and, ask any football manager, no one likes agents if they can get away without them! Again, rather like VPNs, I’ve worked with agent-based technologies that are so transparent they work perfectly. And then there are the others – AKA “how intrusive can you get?”. So, in terms of speeding up on-boarding of applications securely, the Luminate approach makes a lot of sense, but especially more so as part of an integrated platform, a point made by Gerry Grealish, Head of Product Marketing – Cloud & Network Security Products – at Symantec.

It also sounds like a good test project in the making -)

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