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The Durability of the DMZ

by John Pescatore  |  August 5, 2011  |  Submit a Comment

I’ve done a lot of calls this year with Gartner clients reviewing and updating their DMZ designs. As I pointed out here, not a lot of “de-perimieterization” going on – and for the usual good reasons. Most of the redesigns are adjustments for dealing with virtualization in the data center or in changing patterns of B2B connections, or taking advantage of security technology in new data center switches, App Delivery Controllers, etc. But the basic concept of separation and containment and different security policy enforcement around external facing resources and internal facing resources are still valid – even more so given the advanced targeted attacks we are seeing these days.

The change in B2B connectivity is probably actually the area I find myself recommending the most change. Those B2B connections are less likely to be site to site IPSEC VPNs and more likely to be web services or SOA connections, and many of the business partners are more likely to be cloud service providers than individual companies. So, I’m starting to recommend network security managers look to see if their SOA team or application architects are working in any SOA governance technology (see Gartner RN here) – if so, that should be incorporated into the overall DMZ strategy and be a key component of B2B DMZs.

Just as the rise of suicide bombers brought the concept of a DMZ back to physical security in front of high risk targets, the increasing sophistication of targeted attacks has reinforced the need in enterprise cybersecurity.

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John Pescatore
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
32 years IT industry

John Pescatore is a vice president and research fellow in Gartner Research. Mr. Pescatore has 32 years of experience in computer, network and information security. Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Pescatore was senior consultant for Entrust Technologies and Trusted Information Systems… Read Full Bio




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