Security: The Need for the Bigger Picture

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

                                                                   Aristotle

I love that quote from Aristotle. It provides a beautiful description of how individual parts, when combined together to form something new, become better than the individual parts themselves. Network security and data mining could benefit from the application of this concept. Today, the industry lacks this holistic approach that every CSO dreams of achieving—and that’s one reason we have so many security breaches today.

Start by looking at the security incidents that happen every week. In just one 7-day period in August, two major organizations were compromised. Blizzard Entertainment released a statement to their customers about unauthorized access to account information, urging their users to change their passwords. Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, announced that their internal network was compromised by a computer virus infecting personal workstations.

One reason these events continue to happen is that our individual security systems are not combined into one, holistic security platform. They are made up of individual solutions doing what they were designed to do at best, or in some cases, doing more than they were originally designed to do. While they each provide a layer of defense, what we have learned over the years is that a single layer will not protect you.  And multiple layers, if not unified in their views, will also fail to protect.

Historically, security products are typically purchased as “best of breed” solutions based on the needs of the organization at some moment in time. When the needs change, the CSO is presented with a difficult decision: either buy a new product or appliance that will undoubtedly add significant implementation costs to meld it into the existing OSS/BSS environment, or stick with the incumbent vendor’s solution and push them to provide the desired enhancements.

Many organizations choose the latter, as re-integration of a new vendor is a nightmare in many cases. However, the problem with the incumbent vendor is that they might not be the expert in what the customer is asking them to do.  This often results in a decrease in security because that product was not originally designed for the new task at hand and is being misused to do so.

Clearly, the time has come for a true platform that can unite our security solutions into one. The platform is the solution that can turn these siloed systems into a “whole” that is truly more than the sum of the parts.

So what is a platform?

Red Lambda’s MetaGrid™ platform is more than a unified view of layered security solutions. A platform has to have scalability, storage capabilities, indexing capabilities, fault resiliency, flexibility to consume many kinds of data, ease of customization by the domain expert and the ability to leverage artificial intelligence to act as a virtual member to the CSO’s team. MetaGrid does this.

Additionally, MetaGrid has the ability to create jobs and applications using a single computing interface. No longer do you have one-off scripts to manipulate data that may or may not be supported in the future when a team member departs. How many times have you needed or desired to see a data set presented in a different format? How about combining data feeds into a new stream that aids in the visualization of what is really happening? What if another team also wants to consume a portion of the data? A platform gives you that flexibility to create and manage the workflow necessary for your unique security posture.

This is what the “now” holds. Notice I didn’t say the future. The MetaGrid platform can not only store all your petabytes of data for security and provide the ideal environment for security unification, it can also handle your marketing data, or any other data needs that might arise now or in the future.

 

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