Commentary Database Security
DAM Market Observation
Despite talk about the lack of innovation in the data security market, excellent technologies like DAM and DLP have been available for years before customers embraced them
A thought hit me this week that is worth mentioning in regard to database security. This is the first time in my 10 years working with database activity monitoring (DAM) technologies that it was the principal driver in several proof-of-concept engagements. The RSA Security Conference for 2011 concluded last week, during which I heard from multiple vendors and customers that DAM was the specified technology need, fulfilling the bulk of the requirements.
I have been working with DAM technology since 2000, writing my own ad-hoc tools to do basic misuse detection. That was a couple of years before there even was a DAM market. At the time it was considered a strange offshoot of intrusion detection systems. Even in 2002, when a handful of vendors popped on the scene, sales were few and far between.
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Now the DAM market is well more than $100 million and growing, but this is the first time I have seen DAM repeatedly the buyer's focus. Sales were not because SIEM customers needed better application layer detection. Not because customers wanted a detective control to complement a vulnerability assessment product. Not because they wanted to buttress their Web application firewall product for better protection against SQL Injection. Not because it helped performance and operations management task. These customers had specific data and database security challenges that were only addressed with DAM.
I think this is newsworthy for a very specific reason: It has taken a decade before mainstream IT has embraced database monitoring. There is a lot of talk about the lack of innovation in the data security market. However, there have been excellent technologies, like DAM and DLP, available for years, but it has taken the better part of the past decade before customers were even aware of these technologies and understood the benefits to data security. Compliance, database security, and database operations management all benefit. The platforms are fully mature. Firms like IBM, Fortinet, and Oracle jumped in with both feet, making investments in Guardium, IPLocks, and Secerno, respectively. Maybe it has taken those big firms to get the word out, or maybe it has taken a while for IT to understand perimeter and network security tools are not solving security problems. But it does look like Joel Spolsky was right: it takes ten years.
Either way, focusing more at the data layer is a good thing.
Adrian Lane is an analyst/CTO with Securosis LLC, an independent security consulting practice. Special to Dark Reading.