Ecosystemic Security

Juniper announced a mobile security suite, building on its Junos Pulse agent/client software that operates across a wide variety of mobile and PC platforms.  The elements of the suite (the anti-virus, firewall, etc. that are common to most PC suites) are less news than the framework in which it’s being provided.  What Juniper is doing is binding security as an element in a device agent, then coordinating it through central management of that agent so that it’s effectively a part of a collective network- or organization-wide security program.

The newest problem both enterprises and operators are facing these days arises from the fact that a single user is extended across multiple appliances, and increasingly uses those appliances as facets of a virtual personality.  That’s true with social-driven consumers but also increasingly with productivity-driven enterprises.  Point-solution security not only doesn’t secure the range of devices, it forces those who want security to integrate disparate policies and processes to create a secure framework, and one miss destroys not only collective security but also risks cross-contamination of the other channels to the user.

I like the Juniper approach here not because of its capabilities or because of the need that Juniper-sponsored research was targeted at validating; we have security on devices, and we’ll have it on all eventually, and the problems of device security are hardly a surprise even without new research.  What I like is that Junos Pulse extends “the network” to the device itself and makes it an agent of network policy and services.  That seems the only long-term solution to both security issues and to creating service value-add.  Plus, the multiple device faces of the user are going to pop up in a lot of future service missions, and they will be problematic to those without a device-integrated approach.

It’s hard to pull this story out of the Juniper talk, in part because it’s focused so much on security needs and the point-solution remedy.  The real story is the ecosystem.

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