VMware COO: Security industry is broken

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Sanjay Poonan
Sanjay Poonan

VMware has introduced security solutions aimed at helping it reach its vision of intrinsic security, that is more automated, proactive and pervasive across the entire distributed enterprise.

With intrinsic security, VMware says it is lowering the risk to critical applications, sensitive data and users by shrinking the attack surface across clouds, data centres, end-users, and the enterprise edge.

Speaking of the company’s security announcements, Sanjay Poonan, COO of VMware described his company as a ‘big unknown vendor of security’ during his keynote at VMworld 2019 Europe in Barcelona this week.

“We thought we should do more because we have seen what's happening in the security industry today, and it's fundamentally broken.”

He says an analogy can be drawn between security and health care. 

“If you went to a doctor, for example, and asked him how to stay healthy, and he said you need to take 5 000 tablets, that would mean if you took a tablet every 30 seconds, it would still take you a week to consume the entire 5 000. And unfortunately, this is like the security industry today. There are 5 000 vendors, tools, solutions, with different, fragmented agents sitting on people's laptops, all of them on your console, and there's a lot of manual labour needed to pull this all together.”

“Quite frankly, it's broken. And when you think about healthcare, the reason you don't have to pop 5 000 tablets every week, is because you adopt a different approach to your healthcare."

You know intrinsically what you need do every day. You follow a good diet, to make healthcare a natural part of your daily routine such as eat your vegetables and proteins, brush your teeth, drink enough water - all to stay healthy.

We thought we should do more because we have seen what's happening in the security industry today, and it's fundamentally broken.

He says this is what VMware recognised needed to be done. “We needed intrinsic security built into every layer - the infrastructure layer, the cloud infrastructure layer, the application layer and the devices layer.”

The paradigm has shifted from traditional security - that is bolted on, not very intelligent, and is often reactive - to something that is all intrinsically built-in, where all the security building infrastructure is intelligent, smart and driven by AI. It has become proactive rather than reactive.”

According to Poonan, VMware realised that it had to stop adding more and more complexity in an effort to solve cyber security challenges, and instead use its infrastructure as part of the solution. 

“In short, we must make security intrinsic. We are shifting the balance of power from attackers to defenders by removing the complexity inherent with cyber security.”

He says VMware is delivering intrinsic security through a comprehensive portfolio spanning the critical control points of security: network, endpoint, workload, identity, cloud, and analytics. 

“Because we’re built-in, we’re everywhere where apps, devices and users reside. This gives us a unique vantage point to be informed about what’s happening in a customer’s environment. With this knowledge, we can be proactive in hardening customers’ environments to better prevent threats.”

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