Security portfolio tackles complexity with integration

Hewlett-Packard Co.’s new security services portfolio reflects an expansion of its security capabilities for a wide array of partner offerings while providing integration between these services and products to reduce complexity, said the company’s chief security strategist for the secure advantage group.


The Palo Alto, Calif.-based software and services vendor announced its HP Security, Compliance and Continuity Services as part of its HP Secure Advantage portfolio. The goal of the new services is to help customers with security management across the data centre, desktops and printers both on-premise and in the cloud.


Hewlett-Packard’s Chris Whitener said the integration and partner relationships are meant to allow HP to adjust its security strategy to cover the myriad security issues that customers face.


Already, said Whitener, the security market is bustling with vendors, about 800 of them to be exact, and that’s not what enterprises need. “I don’t think there is 800 of anything. There (are) not 800 network vendors, there (are) not 800 laptop vendors,” said Whitener.


Moreover, HP’s acquisition of IT services vendor EDS allows for the expansion of security offerings into more than 90 security services, “but with a model of reducing complexity by doing integration not just between services and products but between services and products and other products and partners.”


For instance, HP’s compliance solutions for PCI interconnect not just with other HP offerings, but with those of Symantec and McAfee, said Whitener.


Aside from integration between HP and non-HP products, Whitener said the new security portfolio also gives customers the choice of in-house, cloud or outsourced to reflect the heterogeneity of today’s IT infrastructures. This also is an acknowledgement that very few businesses run entirely in the cloud and that most prefer to take a more phased approach, said Whitener. While the cloud concept is not new, he added, what’s new about “is that people are still responsible for security no matter where they are running things.”


According to James Quin, senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Ltd., the new portfolio of offerings is something that HP has been quietly building up over the last little while to offer not just point services but managed services as well.


“Now HP has products and can partner some services around that to deliver end-to-end deliver protection,” said Quin.


There are some newer types of services as well, said Quin, like cloud security assessment tools, as the cloud becomes a popular topic of conversation yet many organizations don’t fully understand how to manage nor assess it. Quin notes that HP is leveraging the security capabilities it has in other areas to render greater credibility in the cloud arena.


Quin thinks HP’s holistic approach to IT infrastructure security management is a good one, but questions whether the company has the goods to fully deliver. He said the fact that HP is delivering a large part of its security offerings via the cloud “indicates it’s probably not as fully baked as they would like you to believe.”


IT security ought to exist in the same manner as does network management, said Quin, because merely supplementing a suite of security tools with a services layer won’t get an IT department all the way than if it could all be done in-house.

Follow Kathleen lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau 

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