9 February 2011

Firewall inventor says innovate or die

Nir Zuk, CTO of security vendor Palo Alto Networks, claimed that Nokia is dead in his opening keynote speech at the NetEvents conference in Barcelona today.

Zuk's theme was that companies need to innovate or die. "Innovation is important", he said. "Everyone thought Nokia was invincible. Everyone thought Microsoft was invincible. But Nokia is dead because they failed to innovate."

Zuk said that security companies need to innovate because everyone uses the Internet for much more than web and email. "Enterprise security technology was developed around 1995 when web use was email and browsing only," he said. "Nothing has changed since then -- there's been no innovation. Yet enterprises just carry on buying security technology that protects the dangers from email and web browsing."

"They make IT departments say no to everything," said Zuk. "When they see a threat they just block it. Enterprise wants IT to enable the business but the security group in the IT department has learned to say no to everything because they can only secure web and email."

Yet Salesforce, Webex and Microsoft SharePoint allow users to share files and desktops without going through any security checking - they are desired by enterprises but they carry risks," he said. "The same applies to Facebook and LinkedIn -- 96 percent of enterprises have Facebook in them. Skype is also a dangerous application - it can do desktop and file sharing but there is no control over it and you can't block it."

Zuk's solution was that you should be able to secure all such applications not just web and email and be able to safely enable those applications using a next-generation firewall. "You should never say never again, not be Doctor No," he said.

NetEvents is an event held regularly to bring together press and vendors in the IT networking industry.

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