Nurturing Ideas

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2006-02-13 Print this article Print

The product, for which Egan said there is no due date as of yet, is the first to come from the 15-month-old Advanced Concepts group within Symantecs research arm. The idea behind the genesis of the Advanced Concepts group was to take promising ideas out of research and to fast-track them, nurturing ideas through field testing or marketing with existing Symantec customers.
Symantec actually began working on the database appliance three years ago but found it was ahead of its time, Egan said.
But last years uptick in reported breaches, on Web servers, databases and applications, meant the timing was finally right, he said. "Information was escaping out into the wrong hands," he said. "So the timing was thought to be" ripe, he said. Symantec started the development process on the product in early 2005, signing up pilot customers. The company delivered a prototype to them in September, and its been running in operational environments the past four or five months. So far, the feedback has been strong, making it the first concept out of the new group to be ready to push to product, Egan said. "Were at the end of the cycle on the advanced concept side, and were looking at how wed transition to a commercial product from the company" at this point, he said. The Database and Audit Security Solution—which is a name for the technology concept, not the product, Egan said—will sit out on the network in front of databases. From there, it will keep a watchful eye on transactions going into the database as well as whatevers leaving it. The box will be able to keep an electronic trail of whats being done to the database, which is vital for compliance reasons. "All the auditors, they all want to see electronic paper trails," Egan said. The box will also keep an eye on patterns of usage to detect deviations from normal. It will build profiles of what represents baseline behavior, and will thus track deviation and send off alerts to flag the behavior. Finally, the box will feature what Egan called extrusion control. In other words, it will detect unusual amounts of sensitive data leaving the database. "Thats a key [feature]," Egan said. "Businesses sure as hell want to detect user pulling down a whole table." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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