Stay away from universal all-in-one type appliances: Mark Riley, ContentKeeper

Network designers and CIOs should look at each network security component individually and make a choice based on the capabilities of that component, says Mark Riley, CTO, ContentKeeper.

The fast-changing security landscape is a constant nightmare for CIOs and IT managers of companies. CISOs too are worried about increased breaches.

ContentKeeper Technologies provides Web security solutions which secure today’s Web 2.0 and mobile-centric business environments. Computerworld India spoke to CTO Mark Riley of Contentkeeper Technologies on the road ahead for modern CISOs and CSOs to stay secure and ahead of the competition.

Edited excerpts:

High bandwidth and high capacity security networking design is at the heart of the company’s Secure Gateway product family. How will Contentkeeper up its ante in the modern landscape?

ContentKeeper is continuously developing new technologies to keep pace with the next increment of bandwidth increases. To address the issue of network throughput, ContentKeeper has developed a fully integrated traffic distribution appliance that allows us to easily scale to 80Gbps and beyond. Our third-generation SSL Inspection system is also designed with these high bandwidth requirements as core functionality.

Networks are complex, unified, multi-vector, and insecure. What typical mistakes do IT managers get into while devising their company’s networking and security posture?

My recommendation is to always leverage best-of-breed networking and security components and to stay away from universal all-in-one type appliances. The UTM style of appliance may be appropriate for small networks, but for running an enterprise network, distinct components are the way forward. For example, ContentKeeper system is a best-of-breed Secure Internet Gateway, but it is not a firewall and is not designed to be a firewall.

Network designers and CIOs should look at each network security component individually and make a choice based on the capabilities of that component. A great SWG (Secure Web Gateway) is not going to be a great firewall or an IDS and vice versa. A highly focused solution will most probably be the best solution.

What about hardware appliances-gateways / firewalls / next gen firewalls–as part of modern Infra of a company? Do you see momentum to virtual and software–based?

Virtualization of network components and specifically network security components is a vital topic. There are many negatives and positives that could be put forward for either approach. Ultimately, whether to virtualize or not comes down to the processing power available for a given security function, the network’s security posture, connectivity requirements and high availability demands.

What about consolidation in UTM space with Sophos buying Astaro and Cyberoam or Dell acquiring SonicWALL? Is it a good trend?

The smaller scale end of the network security market is indeed traversing a period of significant consolidation. With consolidation, there is always a period of disruption for the customer base—they may become familiar with a certain product over time, only to face its end-of-life at the hands of the new owners. Consolidation can also have the effect of stifling innovation, but in some cases, it can also improve the quality of a given product. In general, the current round of acquisitions is probably good for the market in general.

What five big changes have you seen in enterprise IT world since 2015 as CTO of a technology OEM? How is ContentKeeper staying in sync with these trends?

The five major items of change as I have seen them are:  Internet link bandwidth increases, increases in SSL traffic, large scale mobile security deployments, cloud computing, and improved US and Indian IT economy. 

ContentKeeper Traffic Distributor / Load Balancer is a core component that is addressing the increased bandwidth requirements. The high bandwidth third-generation SSL Inspection system looks after the increase in SSL traffic volume. ContentKeeper Mobile is our mobile security product supporting iOS, macOS, Windows, Chrome and Android platforms.  For cloud computing, we are currently working to roll out ContentKeeper Cloud Secure Gateway product for Indian market. Lastly, ContentKeeper is recording massive growth in the US market, along with extremely strong sales in the Indian market.

Please list a few good reasons for CIOs to work with Contentkeeper.

When ContentKeeper is approached by a potential customer for product evaluation, we are always delighted when the organization comments on the large network performance advantage ContentKeeper demonstrates over others. We often receive the comment that the number of appliances and the complexity of our solution is always more elegant and technically advanced than any competitor's.

The solution's elegance is liked by our prospects and customers, who also appreciate our industry knowledge and professionalism.

Mobile usage will continue to grow as we all expect.  The amount of machine-to-machine traffic present on the Internet will grow massively as IoT becomes pervasive and this will present its own set of challenges. ContentKeeper Cloud Sandbox, Behavioral Analysis System and our patented Closed Loop Collaborative Filtering System will be leveraged for protection against the next generation of network threats.