Posted by: Greg Ness | January 23, 2008

The Coming IPS Epitaph: Virtsec

 A friend of mine bicycled from Alaska to Chile years ago, back when I was a spry twenty-something.  I asked him for his most powerful memory from the trip. As I expected to hear about some mother of all glaciers or a mountaintop lake surrounded by ancient ruins he replied: “Watching a cloud of mosquitoes take down a moose.”  

As I read Chris Hoff’s recent RATIONAL SURVIVABILITY blog about virtualization being “death by a thousand cuts” for network intrusion prevention systems the conversation and image returned like a flash.  And it is a perfect metaphor. 

As powerful as the moose was, it wasn’t well equipped for the movement and resource requirements of a swarm of mosquitoes.  Chances are it was an old moose.  It wasn’t nimble enough or flexible enough to protect itself from tens of thousands of those massive Canadian mosquitoes.   Hoff’s intro: 

Virtualization is causing IPS and NAC appliance vendors some real pain in the strategic planning department.  I’ve spoken to several product managers of IPS and NAC companies that are having to make some really tough bets regarding just what to do about the impact virtualization is having on their business.They hmm and haw initially about how it’s not really an issue, but 2 beers later, we’re speaking the same language…Trying to align architecture, technology and roadmaps to the emerging tidal wave of consolidation that virtualization brings can be really hard.  It’s hard to differentiate where the host starts and the network ends… 


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