Bringing Back the Good Old Days

It’s amazing what a decade will do to a market — especially in the ever-changing world of security. Back during the dot-com craze of the mid to late 90s, IT security was a hot commodity. Individual security researchers and developers such as Peter...

This revolution is happening at the same time organizations are looking to put their data “in the cloud” to cut IT costs while further outsourcing their IT services at an ever-increasing rate. All this dynamism in the world of information technology requires innovative ways to protect, control, monitor and report on sensitive information resources. The large anti-virus, security, and storage companies that saw the future of security as an integrated boundary protection paradigm have been caught off-guard.

Just as this new wave of digital integration is taking off, more sinister and adaptive cyber threats have emerged. Specifically, what are known as advanced persistent threats target energy companies, manufacturers, government agencies and even individuals. Defending against these new threats in this integrated world of data sharing and aggregation requires new thinking. This environment creates opportunities.

I am posting this article from a government IT conference. I walked the vendor exhibit area and notice something I had not seen in a long time. New IT security companies with tiny booths, demonstrating new technologies to help us get ahead of these emerging threats. A couple booths were even staffed by the company founder or chief technology officer. Is this the good old days again? Not yet, but I like the signs.


John McCumber is a security and risk professional, and author of “Assessing and Managing Security Risk in IT Systems: A Structured Methodology,” from Auerbach Publications. If you have a comment or question for him, e-mail