Deperimeterization and realism

Published: September 14th, 2007

You gotta love this industry for the ever-evolving vocabulary. My neologistic experience this week was stumbling upon the word “deperimeterization.” The actual concept isn’t new to me, but there’s an awkward grace to the expression that appeals. (I approached Computerworld editor Shane Schick — a bit of an eye-roller when it comes to such ham-fisted constructions — and he bet me a bag of chips I couldn’t use “deperimeterization” and “disintermediation” in the same sentence.)

The notion is that, with the increased need for collaboration among suppliers, customers and partners, security focus has to shift away from the perimeter and toward applications, servers and endpoints. While it wracks nerves some, this deperimeterization is necessary for the disintermediation of collaborative processes. I’ll take the salt and vinegar, Shane.

It poses some connundra, though. Is it realistic to throw out the perimeter entirely? Is it feasible to firewall closer to so many endpoints? Is this really just the layerd security discussion by another name? I’m curious. What do you think?

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