blog Ah, remember the old days? When every day journalists wrote about the latest minor patch upgrade to the handful of mega-IT security suites? When “IT security” meant deploying a monolithic anti-virus solution by hand on desktop PC after desktop PC and suffering the huge slowdown effect as it scanned every file in existence constantly? When IT security types were the black magicians of the IT industry? Well, things are certainly changing. A very interesting article on Techworld last week highlights the fact that IT security as a service is currently exploding in Australia, with smarter, sleeker, cloud-based alternatives to the old models coming to the fold. The site reports (we recommend you click here for the full story):
“According to the analyst firm, security-as-a-service has removed the issue of contractors and lowered maintenance overheads, by placing responsibility for delivery and maintenance of the security offering on the cloud services provider.”
I highlight this issue because it represents a fundamental shift in the way things are being done. To my mind this situation is both predictable as well as slightly concerning. What we’re seeing here is the commoditisation of IT security services, especially as this kind of technology has become much better understood, and as the delivery of patches and updates can be systematised. Many organisations will no longer have a need for dedicated IT security staff; or at the very least, those staff can move onto higher order projects.
However, it’s also a little concerning … without this kind of dedicated IT security staff, when things go wrong, they will often go much more wrong — and much more quickly, because outsourcing and systematising this kind of skills inherently slows down specialist knowledge about the organisation. And in the US, we are certainly seeing huge hacks on major organisations that we might not have seen in years past. I recommend you read the excellent Krebs on Security blog for regular examples of what’s really going on. It’s a double-edged sword. In any case, it’s an interesting situation.