What's In A Cloud?

There were numerous interesting displays and high-level technologies on display during ASIS 2009 in Anaheim. ASIS Europe kicks off its ninth season, April 18-21, 2010, and next year it will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. I mention this because any trip to Europe is bound to be a good time.

At ASIS, I learned an important lesson from Bob Beliles at Hirsch Electronics. Some common issues in business today include: do you know who followed your employees through the door today? Are your employees at their computers or have they left them unattended, exposing your network to a potential security breach?

The headaches come from theft of physical and logical assets, accountability of employee actions and whereabouts, operational gaps in managing employee roles and entitlements and corporate and/or regulatory compliance lapses.

The good news is that organizations don’t have to restructure or perform massive forklift system replacements. Hirsch and numerous IT vendors have combined efforts to close the common gaps in organizational security and help employees to follow applicable policies.

The result is a convergence of security that uses multiple networked databases and information. This convergence provides a holistic approach that enables single step, policy-based physical, logical and network access provisioning throughout user’s lifecycle, physical presence to become policy for granting or denying network access and correlated activity reporting and response.

Here’s how it works. Using established standards from the Trusted Computing Group, Hirsch, Juniper Networks and enterprise core network services provider Infoblox link physical access control events to network access control privileges. The linkage enables physical presence to become a policy for granting or denying network access. An employee must badge in at the door in order to get network access. Short of this, the employee will be denied network access and will be required to make a trip back to a physical credential reader before network access is granted.

I wish we have more time to talk about ASIS, though I’m certain new products and technologies will appear on a regular basis in Security Products magazine. I look forward to sharing more as time goes on. We have several videos posted to our Web site from interviews with vendors and friends. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as we did making the videos.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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