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Database Security Mass-Market Update and Friday Summary - May 29, 2009

By Adrian Lane

I ran across a lot of little tidbits in the world of database security this week, so I figured I would share this for the Friday Summary:

Idera has been making a lot of noise this week with seemingly two dozen TechTarget ‘KnowledgeAlerts’ hitting my inbox. Yes, they are still around, but it’s hard to consider them a database security vendor. Customers mostly know them as a DB tools vendor; but they do additionally offer backup encryption, a form of activity monitoring, and what I call “permission mapping” solutions. Not a comprehensive security suite, but handy tools. They really only support the SQL Server platform, but they do in fact offer security products, so bad on me for thinking they were dead and buried. I may not hear about them very often, but the one or two customers I hear from seem to be happy, and that’s what counts. And it’s a challenge to put security tools into the hands of DBA’s and non-security personnel and make them happy.

And speaking of “I thought they were dead”, NGS Software entered into a partnership with Secerno recently. NGS has always incredibly database security savvy but product-deficient, focusing more on their professional services capabilities rather than product development. It shows. Secerno is a small DAM firm with a novel approach to detecting anomalous queries. I would like to see them able to compete on an even footing to demonstrate what they can do, as they need more proof points and customer successes to prove how this technology performs in the real world. To do that they are going to need to offer the assessment capability or they will get relegated to the sidelines as a ‘feature’ and not a database security solution. Secerno is too small and probably does not want to sink the time and money required to develop a meaningful body of assessment policies, so being able to leverage the NGS team and their products will help with preventative security measures. Ideally Secerno will put an updated face on the ‘Squirrel’, and leverage the expanded body of policies, but better to have the capability for now and improve later. I have said it before and I will say it again: any customer needs to have assessment to baseline database configurations, and monitoring to enforce policy and detect threats. The compliance buyers demand it, and that’s your buying center in this market. I am eager to see what this UK tag team can do.

LogLogic announced their database security intentions a little while back, but shipped their Database Security Manager this week. This is not a scruffy startup entering the database security arena, but a successful and polished firm with an established customer base. Granted, we have seen similar attempts botched, but this is the addition of a more complimentary technology with a much better understanding of the customer buying requirements. LogLogic is touting the ability to perform privileged user monitoring, and that this is fully integrated with their existing audit log collection and analysis. But everyone they will be competing with will have something similar, so that’s not very interesting. What is significant to me is a log management vendor providing the near-real-time monitoring and event blocking capabilities that need to be present to take a security product seriously. Additionally, it is done in a way that will address console and privileged users, which is necessary for compliance. The speed of the integration implies that the product architecture is conducive to both, and if you have ever tried implementing a solution of this type you understand that it is difficult because the two functions offer diametrically opposed technical challenges in data storage and processing. Keep in mind that they just acquired Exaprotect to accomplish similar goals for SEM, so I expect we will see that integration happen soon as well. Now let’s see if their customers find it compelling.

Thanks to one of our readers for the heads-up on this one: The Netezza Corporation Investor relations transcript. Interesting details coming out of their end-of-quarter investor call. Turns out that the $3M acquisition price I quoted was slightly off, and the real total was slightly higher at $3.1 million. Given Netezza’s nominal head-count increase since January 1, 2009 (9 people), it looks as if they kept just a handful of the Tizor staff. What shocked me is that they are being credited with 23 customers – less than half the number of customers I thought they had. I am not sure what their average deal size was, but I am willing to bet it was sub-$200k, so revenues must have been very small. This deal was better for their investors than I realized.

Lumigent continues to thrive as the contra-database-security platform. While I find most things GRC to be little more than marketing doublespeak, Lumigent has done a good job at locating and mining their ‘AppGRC’ niche. It’s not my intention to marginalize what they provide because there is customer need, there has been for some time, and the platform is suitable for the task. It is interesting that none of their (former?) competitors had success with that marketing angle and reverted to security and compliance messages, but Lumigent is making it work. The segment needs to move up from generic database security to business policy analysis and enforcement, but the ‘what’ and how to get there are not always clear. I confess I think it funny that for most of their articles such as this one, I could substitute “database security” for ‘AppGRC’ and they would still work. Does the need to move beyond reliance on DBA scripts to a more comprehensive assessment and audit platform with separation of duties sound like DB security? You bet it does. It goes to show that messaging & positioning is an art form. So bravo on the re-branding, appropriate new partnerships and intense focus they have on GRC buyers in the back-office application space.

And now for the week in review:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

Favorite Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

Top News and Posts

Blog Comment of the Week

This week’s best comment was by Daniel in response to the Macalope’s The Government Must Save Our Children from Apple! guest post:

Would a better analogy be a small town advertising that the chance of your house getting broken into is far lower if you move to small town X than if you live in big city Y? Yes, big city Y has far better policing, and spends far more money on anti-burglary patrols, and yes, the night police force in small town X was just caught sleeping on the job, and yes, there isn’t even a local burglar alarm monitoring company in small town X–but despite the far higher security in big city Y, one is still far less likely to experience a break-in in small town X, and this isn’t an irresponsible claim on the part of those encouraging people to move to small town X?

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Comments

@Sharon

Completely disagree with you on this one.  How many email security vendors write their own AV? Almost no one.  More to the point, it does not mean the OEM provider makes a bad product! Quite the opposite. How many security vendors embed tools like Snort? OEM’ing a technology is not indicative of it’s quality or appropriateness of function.

Oh, and if that is a subtle association of the <em>quality</em> of the Tizor platform, someone who OEM’ed products, with LogLogic’s OEM provider; I am not buying it.  Apples to Oranges comparison.   

-Adrian

By Adrian


Loglogic is indeed not a scruffy startup. I have a lot of respect to my long-time colleagues there and to the way they steadily improve their grasp in the log management and event management market. But IMO one can argue that a successful Database activity monitoring and database security solution requires more than OEM-ing (or just reselling) another solution. Paraphrasing your thoughts on Tizor: sometimes what seems to be big is just the shadows during the sunset…
At any rate, I wish Loglogic and their OEM partners a lot of success. Database activity monitoring and database security solve real business problems and are required by many customers. I

By Sharon Besser


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