Rich and I were on a data security Q&A podcast today. I was surprised when the audience asked questions about Application & Database Monitoring and Protection (ADMP), as it was not on our agenda, nor have we written about it in the last year. When Rich first sketched out the concept, he listed specific market forces behind ADMP, and presented a couple of ADMP models. But these are really technical challenges to management and security and the projected synergies if they are linked. When we were asked about ADMP today, I was able to name a half dozen vendors implementing parts of the model, each with customers who deployed their solution. ADMP is no longer a philosophical discussion of technical synergies but a reality, due to customer acceptance.

I see the evolution of ADMP being very similar to what happened with web and email security. Just a couple years ago there was a sharp division between email security and web security vendors. That market has evolved from the point solutions of email security, anti-virus, email content security, anti-malware, web content filtering, URL filtering, TLS, and gateway services into single platforms. In customer minds the problem is monitoring and controlling how employees use the Internet. The evolution of Symantec, Websense, Proofpoint and Barracuda are all examples, and it is nearly impossible for any collection of technologies to compete with these unified platforms.

ADMP is about monitoring and controlling use of web applications.

A year ago I would have discussed the need for ADMP’s technical benefits, due to having all products under one management interface. The ability to write one policy to direct multiple security functions. The ability for discovery from one component to configure other features. The ability to select the most appropriate tool or feature to address a threat, or even provide some redundancy. ADMP became a reality when customers began viewing web application monitoring and control as a single problem. Successful relationships between database activity monitoring vendors, web app firewalls companies, pen testers, and application assessment firms are showing value and customer acceptance. We have a long, long way to go in linking these technologies together into a robust solution, but the market has evolved a lot over the last 14 months.