Fireworks came a little early this year: On June 29, EMC announced its intention to acquire RSA Security for $2.1 billion, a blockbuster move that clearly reinforces the concept of unified storage and security management.
A little more than a year ago, I wrote a column titled "Storage-security combo helps safeguard personal info," in response to storage vendor Network Appliances $272 million acquisition of security vendor Decru. I said in that column that the acquisition made sense, and that it would help stem the rising tide of info theft we had been seeing.
Since that time, there has been no shortage of major data loss/theft events, but I firmly believe that things will only get worse if consolidated storage and security management doesnt become more common.
The acquisition of RSA will give EMC unquestioned expertise in important areas such as single sign-on and encryption key management. At organizations where RSAs technologies are already being used for security, EMCs compliance-oriented storage products (like Centera) can be pulled into the mix to give customers the ability to also preserve their data.
On the software side, RSA and EMC already have alliances—one example is the integration of RSA Access Manager Web access management software with the EMC Documentum eRoom collaborative work space.
I believe there are a lot of areas in which RSA can tighten up security in EMCs product lineup.
Someday soon, for example, hackers will take advantage of the fact that most storage equipment is managed via Web-based GUIs typically running on older builds of Web servers. With zero-day exploits becoming all the rage, its only a matter of time before hackers take control of storage devices and threaten to delete volumes in the middle of a business day. RSAs security management tools would help EMC customers protect their management networks, not only from outside threats but also from disgruntled employees or contractors on the inside.
Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at email@example.com.
Sign of things to come
eWEEK Labs column about NetApps acquisition of Decru
The acquisition in EMCs words
Labs looks at the issues involved in adding security to storage mix